Spain Senate to vote on taking over some of Catalonia's powers

by Abel Hampton October 29, 2017, 0:54
Spain Senate to vote on taking over some of Catalonia's powers

Rajoy designated Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz Santamaria to oversee the process.

In a televised statement, Puigdemont accused the central government of trampling on the will of independence-seeking Catalans who rejoiced at Friday's vote by regional lawmakers to declare an independent republic. The Spanish government has received unwavering support from the United States and its allies in the European Union.

But he was vague on precisely what steps the secessionists would take as the national authorities took control.

Spain is on a knife edge as it grapples with the worst constitutional crisis in its contemporary history, triggered by an unlawful Catalan independence referendum on October 1 that was shunned by many, and marred by police violence. Less than half of eligible voters voted in the ballot Madrid declared illegal and tried to stop. Catalonia is one of Spain's most prosperous regions and already has a high degree of autonomy. Some Catalan police officers stood between national police and those trying to vote during the banned referendum.

Government buildings, the headquarters of national political parties, ports, airports, courts, and the Bank of Spain were being guarded, the Interior Ministry said.

The Spanish government has also sacked the Chief of the Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan police), Josep Lluis Trapero, who accepted the decision, and Ferran Lopez was appointed as the new chief.

After the Spanish prime minister sacked the Catalan leadership on Friday amid the declaration of independence by the autonomous region, the former regional leader has issued a statement clarifying his position on the situation.

The main secessionist group, the Catalan National Assembly, on Friday called on civil servants not to follow orders from the Spanish government, but it stressed they should mount "peaceful resistance".

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