Madrid might totally take over Catalonia as crisis over independence referendum deepens

Catalan parliament declares independence from Spain

Catalonia's tumultuous push for independence reached its climax with regional President Carles Puigdemont squeezed by the irreconcilable demands of his own hardliners and authorities in Madrid.

He also announced the suspension of the top officials of Catalonia's regional police, and the appointment of administrators in the region.

It's hard to predict what will happen next, but the next phase of the crisis is likely to take place not in a parliament but on the streets.

In Brussels, the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said the independence vote changed nothing and the EU would only deal with the central government in Madrid. While the Oct. 1 referendum ultimately supported independence, only 43 percent of Catalan voters showed up at the ballot box, as many Catalans who opposed independence abstained. Almost half of the representatives left the chamber in protest before the vote.

Expressing "deep concern over the grave national crisis", the federation stated this crisis was "caused by the unilateral declaration of independence" of the regional government of Catalonia through its parliament.

The US also chimed in, saying "Catalonia is an integral part of Spain".

"I have decided to call those free, fair and legal elections to restore democracy".

The compromise, hammered out in the country's 1978 constitution, was a system of 17 self-governing regions. During his reign, Franco ruthlessly pursued a unified Spain, canceling autonomy agreements such as the one with Catalonia, jailing supporters of secession and making it illegal to speak Catalan or wave the Catalan flag.

Spanish sovereign five-year credit default swaps (CDS) rose 2 basis points (bps) from Thursday's close to 70 bps, according to data from IHS Markit, following the announcement from the Catalonian parliament.

"It's declaring something which isn't possible: the independence of Catalonia", Mr. Rajoy said. "We don't think the referendum on independence was well founded in law", he said.

The main secessionist group in Catalonia has called on civil servants not to follow orders from Madrid, and to respond with "peaceful resistance".

Mr Puigdemont and Vice President Oriol Junqueras exchanged congratulatory embraces and handshakes after the vote.

She added: 'We continue to want to see the rule of law upheld, the Spanish Constitution respected, and Spanish unity preserved'.

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