Spain moves to suspend Catalonia's autonomy

Spain moves to suspend Catalonia's autonomy

The European states will not recognize the independence of Catalonia, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani said in an interview with Kore radio station. But he immediately suspended the implementation of the secession proclamation and called for talks with Spain and international mediators. Earlier, officials had said that if Catalonia still refuses to drop the independence bid, the central government may trigger Article 155 and revoke the region's broad autonomy.

"If the government continues to impede dialogue and continues with the repression, the Catalan parliament could proceed, if it is considered opportune, to vote on a formal declaration of independence", Puigdemont said in a letter to Spanish Prime Minister Marian Rajoy. Its tensions with Spain have existed for at least three centuries, and the region played a key role in the Spanish Civil War. Supporters of independence brought sleeping bags the night before, occupying polling stations to make sure it went ahead.

However, the fact is that the conflict between Catalonia and Spain emerged because of the manipulation of Spanish constitutional norms and the rule of law by central authorities and two dominant Spanish national political parties (the Popular Party and Socialist Party) over the last decade.

Speaking Thursday at a forum for foreign policy experts in Sochi, Putin said the crisis should be solved on the basis of the Spanish law.

Catalonia is one of Spain's economic powerhouses, and it contributes nearly a fifth of the country's gross domestic product, the FT noted.

Spain sold 4.5 billion euros ($5.3 billion) of debt at a quadruple bond auction on Thursday, with yields on the benchmark 10-year bond higher than the previous sale as a dispute between Madrid and Barcelona on Catalan independence worsens. "If we were to see people marching in Belgium or Northern Italy with Catalonian flags shouting "us next", that would be a different story". The bid-to-cover ratio was 1.4 after 2.6 previously. El Mundo reported Madrid was pressuring the Catalan government to call a new election as a way to resolve the crisis, a move Puigdemont's government has ruled out.

Article 155, which is described as the "nuclear option", has never been used since the Constitution was ratified in 1978. This will probably lead to intervention, and the limitation of the Catalan political institutes. The government can also let a series of criminal cases which have been opened against Catalan leaders run their course.

Catalonia, one of Spain's 17 autonomous regions, has some 7.5 million people and includes Barcelona. The Catalonian President then issued a public survey where 2.2 million Catalonians were in favour for independence.

The reforms threatened judicial independence and made the organ of judges' self-government more dependent on the ministry of justice.

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