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Spain Suspends Government of Newly Independent Catalonia
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Summary: On Friday, Spain’s Senate voted to take control over the autonomous region, Catalonia. 

Catalonia, a region in France, declared its independence on Friday, and hours later, Spain boldly suspended its government and took over its police force, The Washington Post stated.


Spain’s Senate approved emergency measures to oust members of Catalonia’s government and police force. Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy announced on television that Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was removed from office and new elections would take place in December.

Rajoy created a special counsel in Madrid to oversea Catalan’s diplomatic forces, ministries, and police. His decision came after a month-long political crisis in Spain of Catalonia threatening secession.

“This is not about suspending self-government, but returning it to normality as soon as possible, a normality that starts with the law and returning the law to the Catalans,” Rajoy said.

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According to The Washington Post, Spain’s central government easily took control of Catalonia, where secessionists had been advocating independence for weeks. Critics of the secessionists called the move a “coup” and blunder.

European Council President Donald Tusk said on Twitter that he hoped Spain would choose arguments and not war to deal with its political turmoil. The European Union has already seen conflicts in other members, such as Greece and the United Kingdom.

After Spain’s decision, the United States said that it sided with Madrid.

“Catalonia is an integral part of Spain, and the United States supports the Spanish government’s constitutional measures to keep Spain strong and united,” the State Department said.

It appears that other countries are also going to take the United States’ stance and not recognize an independent Catalonia. According to The Washington Post, Spain’s Constitutional Court will most likely declare the declaration of independence to be illegal.

Prime Minister Rajoy told the Senate on Friday that Spain had tried repeatedly to rein in Catalan secessionists but talking to them was futile.

“The word dialogue is a lovely word. It creates good feelings,” Rajoy said. “But dialogue has two enemies: those who abuse, ignore and forget the laws, and those who only want to listen to themselves, who do not want to understand the other party.

“Catalans must be protected from an intolerant minority that is awarding itself ownership of Catalonia, and is trying to subject all Catalans to the yoke of its own doctrine,” the prime minister continued.

In Catalonia, news of independence was met with joy from secessionists, and Oriol Junqueras, Catalan vice-president, tweeted, “Yes. We have won the freedom to build a new country.”

However, not everyone in the region wanted independence. Those who wanted to stay in Spain said that the secession bill harmed “everything.”

“By putting this monstrosity of a secession bill into practice you destroy everything. Today is a sad, dramatic day for Catalonia . . . a coup against our democracy,” Catalan politician Carlos Carrizosa told Financial Times. 

What do you think of Catalonia’s decision to secede? Let us know in the comments below.


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