The Spanish government is preparing to seize control of Catalonia after the region’s parliament voted to establish an independent republic, pushing the country’s worst political crisis in 40 years to new and dangerous heights.
Spain’s national unity suffered a decisive blow on Friday afternoon when Catalan MPs in the 135-seat regional parliament voted for independence by a margin of 70 votes to 10. In retaliation, the Spanish senate granted unprecedented powers to the country’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, to impose direct rule on Catalonia under article 155 of the constitution.
The article, which has never been used, allows Rajoy to sack the Catalan government of the regional president, Carles Puigdemont, and assume control of Catalonia’s civil service, police, finances and public media. It will also pave the way for new regional elections within six months. Read more at The Guardian.