Spain on Verge of Seizing Control of Catalonia amid Independence Crisis

Barcelona, Spain, MINA -nThe Spanish Senate was due to vote on the Madrid government’s unprecedented plans to seize control of the autonomous region of Catalonia on Friday, as the crisis over the province’s bid for independence comes to a head.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy plans to dissolve the Catalan parliament under a never-before-used article of the country’s constitution, vowing to remove the region’s elected leaders as soon as possible and hold new elections, CNN reported

The Senate — where Rajoy’s Popular Party has a majority — must first approve the measures, drawn up under Article 155 of the constitution.

Addressing the Senate, Rajoy said the rule of law had been “stomped on” in Catalonia and warned of a fracturing of society. “Exceptional measures need to be adopted when there are no other ways to go back to normality,” he said.

Those measures are “not against Catalonia but aiming to stop Catalonia bCatalan parliament,eing abused,” he said. “Not to suspend the autonomy of Catalonia but to consolidate it; not to cut back rights but to restore them to legality. What’s threatening Catalonia is not Article 155 but the behavior of the government of Catalonia.”

Meanwhile, members of Catalonia’s regional Parliament will continue a contentious debate Friday in Barcelona, the regional capital, on the best way forward.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont on Thursday backed away from a plan to call new elections himself, amid disagreement within his own party and pressure from opposing sides. Instead, he put the ball back in the court of the regional Parliament.

The standoff between Barcelona and the Spanish government began when Catalonia held an independence referendum on October 1, in defiance of a court ban. Madrid slammed the referendum as illegal, but Catalan leaders took its results as a mandate for independence, plunging Spain into its worst political crisis since the restoration of democracy in the 1970s. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)

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