Spain crushes Catalan Republic, imposes direct rule

Catalonia leader Carles Puigdemont: stands sacked from Madrid

Catalan Republic has been aborted less than one hour after it was born as the upper house of Spain’s parliament on Friday authorised the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to rule Catalonia directly from Madrid.

Rajoy is now expected to convene his cabinet to adopt the first measures to govern Catalonia. This could include firing the Barcelona government and assuming direct supervision of Catalan police forces.

Catalan lawmakers voted Friday to declare independence from Spain, but Madrid vowed in turn to “restore legality” and quash the region’s secessionist bid.

Mariano Rajoy Prime Minister of Spain

With thousands of pro-independence activists gathered outside, the regional parliament in Barcelona passed a resolution to “declare Catalonia an independent state in the form of a republic”.

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy responded immediately, urging “all Spaniards to remain calm”.

“The rule of law will restore legality in Catalonia,” he tweeted immediately after controversial vote.

Under the eyes of a nervous nation, Catalonia’s regional parliament held a secret ballot, despite an opposition walkout, on a resolution the region´s authorities have no legal power to execute.

The motion was approved with 70 votes in favour, 10 against and two abstentions, a result that immediately saw Spanish shares fall sharply.

credit: NAN