Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on October 21 that he would restrict the powers of the parliament in Catalonia, sack its government, and call an election within six months in an attempt to stop its leaders from declaring independence.
Rajoy is proposing that the powers of Catalan officials be taken over by central government ministers.
His government is activating Article 155, which allows the national government to impose direct rule over a semiautonomous region if it does not fulfill its obligations to the state. The article has never been invoked in democratic Spain.
Spain’s upper house, the Senate, will vote on the measures on October 27.
Rajoy's move is meant to block the independence movement in Catalonia, after 43 percent of Catalans took part in a October 1 referendum, with 90 percent voting in favor of independence.