Spain Warns Catalonia With Threat of Direct Control From Madrid… Gives 8 Days to Drop Independence Bid
Rajoy starts process of asserting control over rebel region
Spanish government responds to Catalan President Puigdemont
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy stepped up pressure on Catalonia to halt its drive for independence, taking the first step in a process that could strip the region’s separatist government of its limited autonomy and impose direct control from Madrid.
Rajoy convened an emergency session of cabinet on Wednesday, at which ministers agreed to issue a formal request to the Catalan government for confirmation of whether it had declared independence. Rajoy cited “deliberate confusion” sown by the regional administration in Barcelona the previous day.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont’s response to the request will determine what happens next, Rajoy said. “If Mr. Puigdemont makes clear his wish to respect the law and return institutions to normality, he would end a period of uncertainty, tension and rupture.”
Rajoy’s request is a preamble to triggering Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, a move that would enable him to suspend Catalonia’s devolved government and take over control of its affairs in what would represent an ultimate defeat of the Catalan leadership.
Spain gives Catalan leader eight days to drop independence
MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday gave the Catalan government eight days to drop an independence bid, failing which he would suspend the Catalonia’s political autonomy and rule the region directly.
His move could deepen the confrontation between Madrid and the northeastern region but also signals a way out of Spain’s biggest political crisis since a failed military coup in 1981.
Rajoy would probably call a snap regional election after activating Article 155 of the constitution that would allow him to sack the Catalan regional government.