Catalan leaders have insisted they will reject any attempt by Madrid to impose direct rule on their autonomous region, as a political crisis escalates over Catalonia’s threats to declare independence from Spain.
On Saturday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced his plans to dissolve the Catalan parliament under a never-before-used article of the Constitution, vowing to remove the region’s elected leaders as soon as possible and hold new elections. Madrid dismissed the vote as illegal but Catalan leaders saw it as a mandate to announce a split from the country.
On Sunday, Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis gave a glimpse into what Catalonia under direct rule might look like.
He called on the Catalan people to ignore the current regional authorities, including the police, once Madrid declared direct rule and said that new elections should bring in new leaders.
Dastis denied that Madrid would need to send in large numbers of police or the military to impose direct rule.