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Barcelona chief backs Catalan leaders in clash with Spain

22 October 2017

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's Cabinet was meeting to outline the scope and timing of the measures the government plans to take under Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution.

However, the Catalan leader called on the regional parliament to suspend the proclamation in order to make way for dialogue with Madrid. If the answer on his part will not, the government may, with the approval of the absolute majority of the Senate to take the necessary steps to perform an offline community above obligations under compulsion or for the protection of the mentioned national interests.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont announced on October 10 that the results of the vote enabled the declaration of independence.

Puigdemont called Rajoy's move the "the worst attack" on Catalan people and institutions since Gen. Francisco Franco's abolishment of Catalonia's regional government in 1939.

The Spanish government shall finally approve, in what form it wants to use the 155-th article of the Constitution, which allows limiting authorities of the Autonomous community.

The Spanish government's proposed measures still have to be approved by the Senate.

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Its implementation, as explained by the prime minister, is based on four objectives of the government: return to legality, restore normalcy and coexistence, continue economic recovery and hold to elections in the region.

"We are in shock about the suspension of democracy in Catalonia", said Podemo's Pablo Echenique, vowing to work to oust Rajoy and his conservative Popular Party.

He says "we demand respect for Barcelona and the plurality of its members". Their duties will be carried out by the corresponding ministries in the Madrid government during what the government has declared a crisis.

It is also strongly rumoured the Nationalist coalition will vote for Catalonia to break away from Spain in Parliament next Friday, the same day that Madrid's measures are expected to be confirmed by the Senate.

Catalonia's vice president was one of the first regional cabinet members to react to the announcement that Spanish authorities are seeking to dissolve the cabinet and take control of the prosperous territory.

Rajoy is likely to announce plans to take control of Catalonia's 16,000-strong police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra, whose leader Josep Lluis Trapero could face up to 15 years in jail on sedition charges for failing to contain separatist protests ahead of the referendum.

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Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras said new elections were "not the best way of moving forward".

Spanish King Felipe VI claimed that the country was confronted with an "unacceptable" attempt of secession as Catalonia constituted an integral part of Spain.

Catalonia now has significant autonomy from Spain, including control over its own policing, education and health care.

Although Mr Rajoy underlined he had the support of both the Socialist Party and Ciudadanos, Spain's fourth largest political grouping, the measures were described as "authoritarian and a botched job." by the left-wing Podemos coalition.

Almost 1,200 companies based in Catalonia have re-registered in other parts of Spain since the referendum and and Spain this week cut its national growth forecast for 2018 from 2.6 per cent to 2.3 per cent.

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Barcelona chief backs Catalan leaders in clash with Spain