The Spanish government said on Thursday it will start the process to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy after the region’s president Carles Puigdemont did not drop intentions to succeed from Madrid.
Catalonia’s president, Mr Puigdemont, confirmed that a move for independence was still suspended in a letter sent to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy just hours before a central government deadline passed for the region to drop independence aspirations by 10 am local time.
Government spokesman Méndez de Vigo said Madrid was “following procedure” by moving to revoke Catalonian autonomy and “restore constitutional order and legality” to the region.
De Vigo explained that Puigdemont has “not been clear” on his intentions, so the government was following procedure.
The Spanish federal cabinet will meet on Saturday to propose invoking Article 155, suspending Catalonian home rule.
The European Union President Donald Tusk said there was “no space for an EU intervention” in what he considers a domestic crisis.
Spain is also part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization which supports territorial integrity, however, the west has largely stayed away from commenting officially.
However, United States President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Washington would “not be taking sides.”
Puigdemont’s letter threatened that Catalonia would declare independence if Madrid did not enter negotiations with Barcelona. He also wrote that the Catalan parliament could vote for a formal declaration of independence if no talks are offered by Madrid.
The deadline was set by Spain after Puigdemont said on Oct 10 that an independence referendum 10 days earlier gave him a mandate to declare the region separation from the central government.
However, the region’s president delayed implementing a declaration in favour of entering talks with Madrid.
More details to follow. Please refresh for the latest. Image 1 of Catalan separatists rallying earlier this month.