The Catalan regional parliament has voted for independence from Madrid; the national parliament has responded by invoking Article 155 of the constitution in order to rescind Catalonia’s autonomous powers.
Catalonia’s lawmakers have voted for independence from Madrid, claiming they have a mandate for secession after a referendum earlier this month.
The motion to declare a republic was voted for by secret ballot in the regional parliament in Barcelona. Out of 135 lawmakers, only 82 took part in the vote, of which 70 voted in favor of independence with 10 against. Two lawmakers cast blank ballots.
In response, less than an hour later the national parliament voted to invoke Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, which allows Madrid to take over the running of an autonomous region. The article, which has never been used before in Spain, allows “all measures necessary to compel the community to meet said obligations, or to protect the above-mentioned general interest.”
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called on Spaniards to remain calm and vowed to restore the rule of law in the country.
The vote was held on Friday in regional parliament building in Barcelona. Catalan lawmakers from the Socialist Party, People’s Party, and Ciudadanos left the chamber minutes before the vote on independence from Spain started.
The European Commission has refused to comment on the Catalan Parliament’s declaration of independence from Spain.
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Earlier today, the Spanish Prime Minister explained why his government was justified in invoking Article 155 to eliminate Catalonia’s current nominal ability to self-govern and introduce direct control from Madrid. Rahoy says this article is not directed against Catalonia, but against the abuses of its authorities.