Spanish government discusses revoking Catalonia powers


The Spanish government has begun a crisis cabinet meeting to decide how to put an end to Catalonia’s secession drive through triggering Article 155.

The previously untapped article of Spain’s constitution will enable Madrid to seize powers from the wealthy northeastern region.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was set to outline the scope and timing of the measures the government plans to take under the article.

The law allows central authorities to intervene if a regional government “doesn’t comply with the obligations of the Constitution or other laws it imposes, or acts in a way that seriously undermines the interests of Spain”.

It also requires a vote of absolute majority from the Spanish Senate, which is expected to meet next Friday to address the measure.

Rajoy, who leads a minority government, claims he has the support of the centre-left Socialist party and centre-right Citizens party, which will be enough votes to enact Article 155.

But the measure has never been used, is only two paragraphs long and does not provide a blueprint for implementation.

Catalonia voted in a disputed independence referendum on October 1 that met a heavy police crackdown from the Spanish national police and civil guard, a military force tasked with domestic law enforcement.

 The Catalan government said 90 percent voted in favour of secession, but turnout was less than 50 percent.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont declared independence on October 10, but suspended the declaration to encourage talks with Madrid. A series of ultimatums from Madrid followed. To date, no direct talks have taken place.



Source:  News agencies