Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Saturday said he would curb the powers of the parliament of Catalonia, sack its government and call an election within six months in a bid to thwart a drive by the autonomous region to break away from Spain.
Rajoy said his government had taken this unprecedented decision to restore the law, make sure regional institutions were neutral, and to guarantee public services and economic activity as well as preserve the civil rights of all citizens.
The measures must now be approved by Spain’s upper house, the Senate, where a vote is scheduled for Oct. 27.
Rajoy’s government is activating a previously untapped constitutional article to take control of Catalonia. The move is aimed at blocking the independence movement that has gained pace since a disputed Oct. 1 referendum on separating Catalonia from Spain.