Friday, October 27, 2017

Catalan parliament declares independence from Spain

Catalan parliament declares independence
Catalonia's regional parliament has declared independence from Spain on in a disputed vote that is now likely to be declared illegal by Spain's constitutional court.

The independence motion was passed in the 135-strong assembly with 70 votes in favour, 10 against and two blank ballots, the assembly's speaker said.

Following the vote, the upper house of Spain's parliament authorised the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to rule Catalonia directly from Madrid.

Mr 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.

Mr Rajoy called for calm in a tweet posted minutes after the independence vote.

He wrote: "I ask for calm from all Spaniards. The rule of law will restore legality in Catalonia."

European Council President Donald Tusk has said that the Catalan’s parliament's declaration of independence has changed nothing and the European Union will only deal with the central government in Madrid.

On Twitter, Mr Tusk wrote: "For EU nothing changes. Spain remains our only interlocutor."

He also urged Spain to favour "force of argument, not argument of force."

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