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Madrid Withdrawing Reinforcements from Catalonia

Madrid Withdrawing Reinforcements from Catalonia

Wednesday, 27 December, 2017 - 11:45
The Spanish Interior Ministry announced that it was withdrawing thousands of police reinforcements from Catalonia following the easing of tensions sparked by the independence referendum. (Reuters)

Spanish authorities announced that thousands of police reinforcements deployed in the northeastern Catalonia region will be withdrawn.

Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said late Tuesday the estimated 5,000 reinforcements are no longer necessary following the return to normalcy after Spain seized control of the restive region following a declaration of independence by the Catalan parliament weeks after the referendum.

Spain was criticized over police using force to try to prevent the referendum from taking place.

Hundreds of people, including police, were reported injured.

Spain later dismissed the Catalan government, dissolved the regional parliament and ordered fresh elections for December 21 to quell the secession push and restore legality.

Separatists however emerged victorious in last week’s polls.

Spain's central bank said on Wednesday strong exports are likely to help the economy grow by a quarterly rate of 0.8 percent in the last three months of the year despite the negative effects of the Catalan political crisis.

Spain's economy is set to expand by 3.1 percent in 2017, but the government revised its estimate for 2018 from 2.6 percent to 2.3 percent because of uncertainty created by the since-ousted Catalan regional government's push for independence in October.

The central bank said buoyant exports overall made up for the economic fallout in prosperous Catalonia.

Its figures are estimates and official data will be published by the National Statistics Institute next month.

Spain emerged from recession in late 2013 and is now one of the European Union's fastest-growing economies.

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