After Spain launched the process to impose direct control on Catalonia on Saturday, a senior official of the region says Catalan authorities will not comply with any government effort to follow through.
Catalan external affairs spokesman Raul Romeva told BBC News agency that the central government was acting against the will of the region’s populace.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy held a crisis cabinet meeting on Oct 21, two days after a deadline passed for Catalonia to back down from its independence aspirations, to sign off on Article 155.
The document is a special provision in the constitution of Spain that allows the government to strip some of Catalonia’s current autonomy and impose a more direct Madrid rule over the region.
Rajoy said he will fire the current pro-independence administration and hold regional elections within six months. The Senate convenes on Friday to give a much-anticipated, but necessary, stamp of approval for Madrid.
Local reports indicate that a more official response is coming from the Catalan leadership, possibly regional President Carles Puigdemont himself, at some point soon.
Romeva is officially the secretary for External and Institutional Relations, and Transparency in the Catalan Regional Government, and has held the position since Jan 14, 2016.
He was charged with leading the Together for the Yes after the 2015 Catalan election, a list of pro-independence politicians in Catalonia. He was also in the past a very active Member of the European Parliament.
A mandate on hold
After a referendum on Oct 1 gave heavily favourable results towards Catalan independence, Mr Puigdemont said he had a mandate for signing a declaration, which the top leadership did.
However, the president placed the document on hold until Catalonia could enter into negotiations with Madrid, who ignored their request.
Instead, the Spanish central government placed a deadline of last Thursday at 10 am for Puigdemont to clarify whether he intended to move ahead with separation or call a regional election and thus give up his independence intention.
Instead a letter from Puigdemont found its way into Rajoy’s possession that basically said that independence was still the end objective, but that the Catalan leadership wanted to have talks with the government about it.
The monarchy has even gotten involved the fray, with the King making two rare public statements on the socio-economic crisis, asking for unity and calling for the separatist movement to end.
As of now, tensions are high as the spotlight is on Puigdemont and Catalonia for the next move.
More details to follow. Image 1 of Paul Remeva from IB Times. With files from BBC News agency.