Spanish court annuls Catalan independence declaration

Protesters have demanded their release as they continue to battle for independence

A general strike by pro-independence campaigners in Catalonia has caused travel chaos in Barcelona.

Meanwhile, a partial strike shut down several roads across the region on Wednesday. Demonstrators blocked roads in over 60 places while train services were also at a standstill.

The strike caused long tailbacks into Barcelona as minor scuffles were reported on social media as police attempted to move protesters.

As many smaller stores left their shutters closed, most larger shops and businesses in the region appeared to be open as normal.

The declaration followed the disputed referendum on October 1 that was ruled illegal by Madrid.

Both the declaration of independence and the transition law had previously been temporarily suspended by the court while it studied an appeal against them by the Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy.

The central government in Madrid called the election for 21st of December.

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The members of the Spanish Constitutional Court on Wednesday voted unanimously to definitively annul the unilateral declaration of independence for Catalonia which was approved by Catalan Parliament on October 27.

The deposed Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, went into self-imposed exile in Belgium last week after Spain's government responded to an independence declaration by firing his administration, dissolving the Catalan parliament and calling regional elections for December.

They're now fighting Spanish arrest and extradition to face the same charges.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has denied his government is "in crisis" over the issue.

The court announced that the independence declaration constitutes a "serious attack" against Spain and violates democratic ideals "with equal intensity".

Catalan secessionist parties on Tuesday failed to agree on a united ticket to contest the December election, making it more hard to rule the region after the vote and press ahead with their collective bid to split from Spain.

But the deadline passed without agreement meaning they will run as individual parties, risking splitting the pro-independence vote.

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