The ongoing standoff between Catalonia and the Spanish government has come to a dramatic climax today as the Catalan parliament declares independence from Spain.
The highly anticipated response from Barcelona to determine whether or not Catalonia will go against Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy and become independent was announced this afternoon and was backed 70-10.
This announcement from Barcelona follows a speech made earlier this morning in Spain’s senate by Rajoy who revealed his plans to ‘shut down’ Catalonia’s regional parliament and dismiss Catalan’s leader Carles Puigdemont.
In a statement taken from Rajoy, Gavan Reilly tweeted that ‘The rule of law will be restored in Catalonia’
In another blow delivered by Rajoy to Puigdemont this morning, the Spanish prime minister accused Catalan government of dividing families and fracturing society and threatened to impose direct rule on the region.
Despite the dramatic turn of events, Spain’s senate is still to vote on whether to impose Article 155 of the Spanish constitution and back Rajoy’s proposal to bring ‘law, democracy and stability’ back to Catalonia. This would enable the Spanish government to take ‘all measures necessary to compel’ in the region of Catalonia.
Article 155 could result in Madrid disempowering all of Catalan’s leaders and taking over the region’s finances, police and public media.
This development in Catalonia’s attempt to gain independence from Spain follows the result of an illegal referdunem that took place on October 1st which saw a 90% majority in favour of Catalonia’s independence.
Spanish riot police attempted to block the vote and distressing footage emerged showing authorities using batons and rubber bullets in an attempt to control crowds.
An announcement from Madrid is expected later on today that will reveal the Spanish government’s vote on Article 155.