Less than a month after a region-wide referendum delivered an overwhelming ‘Yes’, the Catalan government has formally declared independence from Spain. The central government responded immediately by imposing direct rule in the region.
The President of the European Council Donald Tusk has claimed that “Spain will remain the EU’s only interlocutor,” thus reiterating the bloc’s firm position on the Catalan referendum.
READ MORE: Catalan Parliament Declares Independence From Spain
In a statement that came only minutes after Catalonia’s government declared their independence from Madrid, Tusk also urged Spain to use “force of the argument, not argument of force.”
The EU has been voicing support for the central government in Madrid since the beginning of the Catalan’s call for independence. EU officials have been calling on the region’s government to “respect Spain’s constitution,” stating that such respect is vital for Europe.
The authorities in Madrid have invoked Article 155 of the Spanish constitution imposing a direct rule on Catalonia after the wealthy region’s local government declared independence earlier this evening.
The long-anticipated declaration comes almost a month since the popular vote when an overwhelming 92% of Catalans voted to secede from Spain.