Spanish PM defends decision of suspending autonomy of Catalonia

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MADRID, Oct. 20 – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday defended the decision of his cabinet to temporarily suspend the autonomy of the Calalonian region and pass control of its government to Madrid..

The decision was made based on Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, Rajoy said, adding the cabinet will meet on Saturday to approve the measure, which will then be passed to the Senate for ratification, probably on Oct. 27.The move came after the Spanish government said Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont had failed to clarify whether he had declared the independence of the region in the wake of the Oct. 1 referendum, which has been declared illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court.

Speaking from Brussels, where he had been in a summit meeting of European leaders, Rajoy told journalists his government was taking the step because “we have come to an extreme situation,” in Catalonia and that his government was “obliged to recover the legality and institutional normality in the region.”

He added that the decision had been taken after consulting with the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and center-right force Ciudadanos. “The government cannot allow the law to be broken,” he said, adding he had the support of EU leaders because “democratic principals have been attacked in Catalonia.”

The application of Article 155 would see Madrid increase financial control over the Catalonian region, collect taxes and also take over direction of the Catalan regional police force (Mossos d’Esquadra) and parts of the Catalan Education Deportment among others.

Rajoy refused to confirm declarations made earlier in the day by Carmen Calvo; the PSOE Secretary for Equality, who had formed part of her party’s team negotiating how to apply Article 155 with Rajoy’s government.

Calvo said the PSOE and Rajoy’s PP had agreed to call new elections for the Catalan regional parliament in January.

Rajoy refused to confirm declarations made earlier in the day by Carmen Calvo; the PSOE Secretary for Equality, who had formed part of her party’s team negotiating how to apply Article 155 with Rajoy’s government.

Calvo said the PSOE and Rajoy’s PP had agreed to call new elections for the Catalan regional parliament in January.

Rajoy refused to confirm declarations made earlier in the day by Carmen Calvo; the PSOE Secretary for Equality, who had formed part of her party’s team negotiating how to apply Article 155 with Rajoy’s government.

Calvo said the PSOE and Rajoy’s PP had agreed to call new elections for the Catalan regional parliament in January.

Rajoy refused to confirm declarations made earlier in the day by Carmen Calvo, the PSOE Secretary for Equality, who had formed part of her party’s team negotiating how to apply Article 155 with Rajoy’s government.

Calvo said the PSOE and Rajoy’s People’s Party had agreed to call new elections for the Catalan regional parliament in January.

(Copyright National News Agency / Xinhua, 2017)

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