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Catalonia Declares Independence From Spain, Madrid Imposes Direct Rule

Catalonia Declares Independence From Spain, Madrid Imposes Direct Rule

Spanish prime minister dissolved Catalan parliament after emergency Cabinet meeting.

In a largely symbolic vote, the Catalonian parliament voted for independence from Spain on Friday, which caused the Spanish Senate to allow Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy direct rule over the region. From The Wall Street Journal:

The separatist legislators said Catalan voters gave them a mandate for the declaration in an Oct. 1 referendum on independence. Catalan authorities say around two million voters cast ballots and that the vast majority voted in favor of secession. However, opposition parties boycotted the vote and the Spanish government declared it illegal. The vote was also marred by clashes with the police.

Given that the Spanish constitution doesn’t allow for the unilateral secession of any of the country’s regions, the declaration is symbolic.

During this vote, 52 lawmakers “abandoned parliament.” Those who stayed voted 70 to 10 to secede from Spain.

Shouts of “President!” followed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont when he left the chamber.

The Spanish lawmakers then “approved a never-used constitutional provision that allows the government to temporarily take control of Catalonia’s government and remove its leadership.” Rajoy wrote on Twitter that “[T]he rule of law will restore legality in Catalonia” and described the vote as “criminal” to journalists:

“It’s declaring something which isn’t possible: the independence of Catalonia,” Mr. Rajoy said. The premier added that he was convening an extraordinary cabinet meeting at 6 p.m. local time and would make a statement after that. “The state will react. It will be done with restraint, it will be done with efficacy.”

After an emergency Cabinet meeting, Rajoy dissolved the Catalan parliament and announced a regional election will take place on December 21.

In light of the vote, the majority of the international community has shown support for Spain, including the United States. From Fox News:

The U.S. State Department said Friday it stands in support of Spain’s government in its efforts to stop Catalonia’s independence bid.

“Catalonia is an integral part of Spain, and the United States supports the Spanish government’s constitutional measures to keep Spain strong and united,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

European Council President Donald Tusk said it would continue to only deal with Spain.

“For [the EU] nothing changes. Spain remains our only interlocutor. I hope the Spanish government favors force of argument, not argument of force.”

The United Kingdom also showed support for Spain, but the Scottish government took a different tone. This is not a shock since Scotland has tried in the past to gain independence from the UK. From NBC News:

The United Kingdom also provided a statement of support for Spain. But the Scottish government, which has a similar relationship with the U.K. as Catalonia does with Spain, emphasized the need for open talks.

“Now, more than ever, the priority of all those who consider themselves friends and allies of Spain should be to encourage a process of dialogue to find a way forward that respects democracy and the rule of law,” said Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs. “The imposition of direct rule cannot be the solution and should be of concern to democrats everywhere.”

The Spanish prosecutor’s office told the media that “the prosecutor would seek rebellion charges for those responsible for the Catalan independence vote.” This could possibly only be for the Catalan cabinet, but charges may also go against “members of the parliament’s governing board and lawmakers.”

Fox News reported that a person can receive “up to 25 years in prison” for rebellion, but could receive a shorter sentence “if the rebellion doesn’t lead to violence.

The Catalan National Assembly (ANC) have asked civil servants to disobey “orders from the Spanish government,” but “respond with ‘peaceful resistance.'”


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Paul In Sweden | October 27, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Pass the pop-corn. The Basques are supportive but I have not read anything about it in the media.

Has California weighed in yet with #hashtags?

So you’re going to declare independence without any allies to back you and with no army to keep your territory. Good luck with that, morons.

I’ll take “Civil War” for $500 million, Alex …

The Catalan parliament broke their own parliamentary rules to push through the vote for the referendum. They received no opposition votes. The opposition then boycotted the voting. The opposition refused to vote in the declaration for independence.

    Milhouse in reply to davod. | October 28, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    What do you mean, they accepted no opposition votes? The story says the vote was 70 to 10, after 52 refused to vote. So the 10 opposing votes were accepted, and the sore losers who walked out did so before the vote was taken, and thus before any such hypothetical refusal could have taken place.

Spain’s actions have now taken large numbers of people who were sitting on the fence and made them into committed separatists. Now the civil war begins, many will suffer and for what? The economy of Catalonia will crash, Spain will become bankrupt, the EU will collapse, and the entire EU will come crumbling down. You heard it here first.

Reminiscent of 1776 and 1861 at the same time.

Scanning the headline in my pre-coffee fog, I thought it said California, Be still my heart!

This won’t end well for everyone! The only question is how many people will have to be killed by the Spanish police to end this up rising…all of it of course with the EU’s blessing.

Islam has an army prepositioned in Europe. If Spain or anywhere else in the EU collapses I expect Muslims to fill the void. They’ve been talking about “retaking Al-Andalus” for years now, and that would be a prime opportunity.

Will there be a Civil War in Spain? Or will the rain in Spain stay mainly in the plain?