Spanish govt officially takes control of Catalonia, sacks local police chief

Rajoy of Spain addressing the Senate in Madrid on Friday. Credit Chema Moya  European Press

Rajoy of Spain addressing the Senate in Madrid on Friday. Credit Chema Moya European Press

Their music (ranging from poetic folk ballads to indie rock, Mediterranean and Latin fusions, flamenco and punk) represents the diversity of Catalan culture, Barcelona's cosmopolitan nature, and often a sense of social consciousness and an altruistic, idealistic, or sobering realistic world view - sometimes all in the same song.

People wave "estelada" or pro independence flags outside the Palau Generalitat in Barcelona, Spain, after Catalonia's regional parliament passed a motion with which they say they are establishing an independent Catalan Republic, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. The Spanish government, however, moved to impose direct rule over Catalonia immediately, plunging the country into an uncertain future.

Yesterday a top economist warned that Catalonia's declaration of independence from Spain could be "the foundation for what will happen across the EU".

Opponents of independence for Catalonia are holding a rally in the Spanish capital of Madrid.

Lenders Banco de Sabadell and CaixaBank, which have much of their operations in Catalonia, saw their five-year CDS rise 2 and 4 bps after the announcement, to 83 bps and 78 bps respectively.

Catalonia's separatist leader has called on Catalans to peacefully oppose Spain's takeover, in a staged appearance that seemed to convey that he refuses to accept his firing, which was ordered by central authorities.

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Puigdemont disposé à s'exprimer devant le Sénat — Catalogne
Une fois que le Sénat aura approuvé les demandes de Rajoy, Puigdemont n'aura plus aucun pouvoir, a-t-elle prévenu. Mais l'exécutif catalan avait écarté cette option dimanche, faisant craindre une escalade d'agitation-répression.

Catalonia's regional police agency has issued a statement saying it is operating as normal even though its chief has been fired by Madrid as Spain's central government tries to halt the region's independence movement. "The imposition of direct rule cannot be the solution and should be of concern to democrats everywhere".

Some among Catalonia's roughly 200,000 civil servants have said they will refuse to obey orders from Madrid.

Tajani said that Europe's position is very clear: "No one will ever recognize Catalonia as an independent country".

Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria will be Mr Rajoy's point person in running Catalonia until the new regional election. Under Article 155 Madrid can dismiss the regional president and his ministers, and take control of the region's police, finances, and public media. Demonstrators in Barcelona broke out in ecstatic shouts of: "Independence!" as the result was announced, while separatist MPs cheered, clapped and embraced before breaking out in the Catalan anthem. Catalan society is also deeply divided over the issue. Or if the Barcelona government - so far, only advocating "peaceful resistance" - turns to a more active struggle?

He was praised for effectiveness but also criticised for coordination problems with other national police forces.

Separately, Spain's Efe news agency reported that Pere Soler i Campins, the Mossos director general had also been dismissed by Madrid.

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