UPDATE: Spain’s Senate has voted to invoke Article 155 of its Constitution, seizing direct control of Catalonia, as the Catalan parliament has voted for independence.
Just as Barcelona was trying to seal its takeover of the formerly-semi-autonomous region of Catalonia, its parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain.
Based on AP reports, there’s celebration across Catalan cities and demonstrations in support of independence at the parliament building. Earlier today, Spain’s prime minister said Barcelona’s first move will be to dismiss Catalonia’s president if special powers are granted by the country’s Senate.
The Spanish leader said “what is happening in Catalonia is “a clear violation of the laws, of democracy, of the rights of all, and that has consequences.”
If the Senate invokes Article 155 of Spain’s Constitution, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy could impose direct rule on Catalonia. But now, it appears that the separatists have raised the ante.
So what’s next?
It seems like Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has placed the ball right back with Barcelona, daring them to come and arrest him. We now have the makings of another Spanish Civil War.
With all the demonstrating, cheering, and congratulations by thousands outside the parliament and around Catalonia, just how does Spain’s government expect to overrule the vote that just happened, come in and arrest the legislators who voted for it, dismiss the cabinet and Puigdemont, and take control?
It will have to be by force of arms. That will be very, very ugly.
Using the cover of “rule of law” to overturn democracy and the will of the people being governed, in a “semi-autonomous” region, by revoking the semi-autonomy and cracking down invokes images of Budapest in 1956. It’s more fitting of the old Soviet Union than a western democracy.