On Tuesday, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont signed a declaration of independence
but halted its implementation to allow for negotiations. His eagerly awaited speech is difficult to interpret, given that it was full of ambiguity and conditionalities. The Spanish government rejected the statement of independence Puigdemont signed and the country's deputy prime minister described him as someone "who does not know where he is or where he is going". Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catala has also reiterated his government's
position that the poll was illegal while its results are invalid.
If Catalonia's highly disputed bid for independence did prove successful, South Sudan would relinquish the title of being the world's youngest sovereign state. It declared independence from Sudan in July 2011 following a violent civil war and the move was recognized by the wider part of the international community including the United States. Kosovo is currently the second youngest country worldwide. It declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, though it has struggled with crime, ethnic tension and economic problems since then. Two other countries in the Balkans, Serbia and Montengro, are the newest countries after Sudan and Kosovo. They came into existence after the State Union of Serbia and Montengro split into two separate states in June 2006.