Spain moves to suspend Catalan autonomy
MADRID: Spain said yesterday it will move to seize some of the Catalan regional government's powers after its leader warned he could declare independence, escalating the country's worst political crisis in decades.
The central government in Madrid had given separatist leader Carles Puigdemont until 10am (4pm Singapore time) yesterday to say if he was declaring a breakaway state in the semi-autonomous region following a chaotic referendum on Oct 1.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had warned he would trigger Article 155 of Spain's constitution - a never-before-used measure allowing it to impose direct rule over the region - unless Mr Puigdemont backed down.
Mr Puigdemont responded that Catalan lawmakers could vote to declare secession unilaterally if Madrid triggers Article 155. - AFP