Rajoy sacks Catalan government, calls snap election

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy dissolved the Catalan government. [Council]

Spain on Friday (27 October) sacked Catalonia’s regional government, dissolved the Catalan parliament and called a snap election in the region for 21 December, in a bid to draw a line under Spain’s worst political crisis in 40 years.

“We believe it is urgent to listen to Catalan citizens, to all of them, so that they can decide their future and nobody can act outside the law on their behalf,” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a televised speech.

Rajoy also fired the regional police chief and shut down much of Catalonia’s diplomatic service.

Catalan parliament defies Madrid, declares independence

Catalonia’s parliament declared independence from Spain in a historic vote on Friday (27 October), setting the scene for a showdown with Madrid, which has announced it would strip the breakaway region of its autonomy.

Earlier in the day on Friday, the Catalan parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence from Spain.

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted after the vote: “For EU nothing changes. Spain remains our only interlocutor. I hope the Spanish government favours force of argument, not argument of force.”