The Spanish government is to seize control of Catalonia after the region’s parliament voted to establish an independent republic.
The country’s worst political crisis in 40 years has now reached new and dangerous heights.
Spain’s central government announced the dissolution of the regional parliament in Catalonia, and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that that new elections will be held in the region on December 21.
The Independent reports:
Central government ministries will take over the administration of the region.
The announcement follows a day of drama in which the Catalan parliament passed a motion to declare independence and – less than an hour later – Spain’s senate granted Mr Rajoy the power to impose direct rule.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who had led the secession effort, is no longer in office and Spain’s top prosecutor is now deciding whether to charge him with rebellion.
Both he and Mr Rajoy had earlier called for calm, with the Catalan leader urging “pacificism and dignity”.
The Catalan National Assembly urged regional civil servants not to cooperate with their new bosses in Madrid.
His independence effort has found little support outside the country, with the UK and the US State Department saying they backed a united Spain.
Donald Tusk, head of the European Council, said that nothing would change for the EU and that it would only deal with the Madrid government.