Spain likely to seize powers from Catalonia

Oct 22, 2017, 01:24
Spain likely to seize powers from Catalonia

The prestigious prize-giving ceremony was attended by European leaders, in so doing implicitly pledging their support for Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's position on unite Spain and rejecting the Catalan bid for independence.

"They can destroy the government, they can destroy everything they want but we'll keep on fighting".

The Madrid government is expected to implement measures under Article 155 of Spain's constitution.

But it took on an even angrier tone after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced his government would move to dismiss the region's separatist government, take control of its ministries and call fresh elections in Catalonia. The premier said he had no other choice faced with the threat to national unity. (Picture: Lola Bou/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) Autonomy is a highly sensitive issue in Catalonia, which saw its powers taken away under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

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But Saturday's move by Madrid to seize powers from the semi-autonomous region - which could include taking control of its police force and replacing its public media chiefs - was on the minds of many in the crowds.

"The main goal of these measures is a return to legality because there can not be a part of a country where law is not applied, where law doesn't exist", he said on Friday in Brussels at the end of an EU summit in which European leaders including Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron had offered him their support. Officials said that in addition to police violence, Spanish law enforcement raided polling stations, resulting in the loss of 770,000 ballots.

Mr Rajoy's ruling Partido Popular (PP) party has a majority in the Senate, and it would therefore be highly unlikely they are blocked.

Oct.21: Spain is likely to take the unprecedented step of seizing powers from the separatist government in Catalonia today.

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Forty percent of Catalonia's 5.5 eligible voters cast ballots in the referendum, despite a show of force by Spanish police that left almost 900 people injured ahead of the October 1 vote.

He accused the separatists of "liquidating the Spanish Constitution" and failing to respect local laws when they rushed legislation permitting a referendum on independence through the Catalan parliament in early September.

Although Mr Rajoy underlined he had the support of both the Socialist Party and Ciudadanos, Spain's fourth largest political grouping, the measures were described as "authoritarian and a botched job." by the left-wing Podemos coalition.

Almost 1,200 companies that have shifted their registered domiciles to other parts of Spain since the referendum, hoping to minimise instability.

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