Catalan parliament declares independence, Madrid imposes direct rule

Photo: David Ramos/Getty

The regional parliament of Catalonia declared independence from Spain on Friday, just minutes before Madrid officially imposed direct rule on the region.

The independence motion passed in the Catalan assembly in Barcelona with 70 votes in favor, 10 against and 2 blank ballots, according to Reuters. The parliament is typically 135 members strong but politicians from the Socialist Party, the People’s Party (PP) and the Ciudadanos party abstained in protest.

Shortly afterward, the Spanish Senate granted Madrid the power to implement Article 155 of the constitution. The two paragraph-long clause allows Madrid to remove the Catalan government, install a technocratic government and call new regional elections. Rajoy said temporary control of Catalonia could last as long as six months.

On Saturday, the official publication of the decision will effectively trigger direct rule, but it’s unclear how this could immediately manifest itself.

(Source: CNBC)