His presumably penultimate appearance as Catalan prime minister, Carles Puigdemont was visibly applied and with deep crease between eyebrows. He strongly condemned coercive measures previously announced by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as " worst attack on Catalan institutions and Catalan people". He n, as expected, asked Catalan parliament to decide as quickly as possible how to prevent "extinction of our self-government and our democracy".
Translated into logic of crisis, this means that at some point in coming week parliament will vote on independence. The Catalonia conflict is continuing to intensify.
The coercive measures announced by Rajoy at noon against rebellious regional government have surprised most commentators in ir harshness. On basis of article 155 of Constitution, applied for first time in history of Spanish democracy, Puigdemont and its entire cabinet are to be dismissed and replaced by Madrid-specific politicians. The administration and police are also to be placed under care of central government, Catalan parliament will, in maximum of six months, perform representative tasks in particular, up to announced elections.
Before measures enter into force, y must be adopted by Senate next Friday. However, since Rajoy conservative People's Party has absolute majority re and package has been agreed with both Socialists and Liberal Citizens ' party Ciudadanos, re are no changes to be expected."Democratic barbarism"
In background discussions, Government had repeatedly emphasized use of "micro-surgical instruments" against rebellious regional government. In end, Rajoy has now brought out big mallet. In particular, central government is calling for a reelection for Catalonia is debatable. "In negotiations on Constitution 1978, only Franco-successor party Alianza Popular wanted to anchor this possibility in article 155 – and failed," recalled spokesman of party Podemos, Ramón Espinar. "To do that retrospectively is democratic barbarism."
Catalan politicians also spoke of a "de facto coup d'état". And on Barcelona's streets, after Rajoy speech, noise level of protest soared again within minutes. On many balconies in city center was drummed on cooking pots and pans, honking cars drove through streets.
This is because an intervention in Catalan self-government is not a purely administrative act. "Llibertat, Amistia i estatut d ' Autonomia", "Freedom, amnesty and autonomy statute" already belonged to central demands of opposition in Catalonia after Franco's death. The self-management of generality, i.e. entirety of political institutions of Catalonia, whose origins dates back to 14th century, is an integral part of Catalan self-understanding.
What was planned on Saturday afternoon as a demonstration for detention of Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sánchez, president of Independence platforms Òmnium Cultural and Assemblea Nacional, was thus a powerful protest against intervention in Self-management. Among police figures 450,000 participants were, in addition to supporters of independence, also many who are critical of referendum carried out beyond any legal framework and secessionist aspirations of regional government.
"For Spanish democracy, this is most horrible day of last 40 years," said Barcelona mayor Ada Colau. "It is simply not understood that Socialists support se measures." In city hall of Mediterranean Metropolis Colau has so far reacted toger with Socialists, now alliance is shaking. In evening, socialist Nuria Marin, mayor of second largest Catalan town of Hospitalet de Llobregat, withdrew from ir party posts. The Catalonia crisis shatters Spain's political system at all levels.
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