Spanish Government moves to suspend Cataluña’s autonomy

The Spanish Government will activate Article 155 of the constitution, allowing it to impose direct rule on Cataluña following the independence referendum.

A spokesman for Moncloa, the Prime Minister’s residence in Madrid, confirmed the news to the media this morning (Thursday).

Political leaders in Madrid and Catalonia have been in a nail-biting stand-off since the controversial independence referendum on October 1, which was declared “illegal” by the Spanish government.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had threatened to suspend Cataluña’s autonomy unless Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont clarified whether the region had declared independence.

Puigdemont sent a letter to Rajoy minutes before the 10am deadline which failed to provide the clarity the central government had asked for, according the Moncloa spokesman.

 The government will decide at an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday which “measures to be put before the senate to protect the general interest of Spaniards, including the citizens of Catalonia, and to restore constitutional order in the autonomous community.”

Article 155 allows Madrid to take full control in the event of a crisis, but it has never before been invoked.

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