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Saturday, 21 October 2017

Protests held in Barcelona as Spain plans to dismiss Catalonia govt

Spain plans to dismiss Catalonia govt
Protesters are gathering in Barcelona this evening, hours after the Spanish government announced plans to impose direct rule on Catalonia.

Earlier today, Spain said it will move to dismiss Catalonia's separatist government and call fresh elections in the region in a bid to stop its leaders from declaring independence.

Speaking after an emergency cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government had no choice after the administration of Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont acted in a way that was "unilateral, contrary to the law and seeking confrontation" in holding a banned independence referendum.

Taking Spain into uncharted legal waters by using Article 155 of the constitution, which allows Madrid to wrest back control of rebellious regions, Mr Rajoy said he was asking the Senate to give him permission to dissolve the Catalan parliament and "call elections within a maximum of six months".

He is also requesting that all of Mr Puigdemont's government be stripped of their functions, which "in principle will be carried out by (national) ministers for the duration of this exceptional situation".

The national Senate will now have to agree to these unprecedented steps - a process that will take about a week.

  • Catalan President Carles Puigdemont says Catalonia will not accept Madrid's plan to curb the region's autonomy.

In a statement, he described the imposition of direct rule as the worst attack on Catalonia's institutions since the Franco dictatorship.

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