Thursday’s ultimatum, the latest in a series issued by the Spanish government over last week’s declaration of independence, looks to be bringing the situation in Catalonia to a head, with the Spanish premier threatening to seize the entire region.
No longer content to simply demand clarification, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy now says if Catalan President Carles Puigdemont doesn’t formally abandon the quest for independence by 10 a.m. Thursday, he will place the entire autonomous region under direct rule of the national government.
The threat to invoke Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, allowing such moves under certain extraordinary circumstances, has been a common one for Spanish officials in recent weeks, but this new deadline suggests Spain is now determined to make the move soon.
Considering the massive pro-independence rallies in Catalonia, and resentment at violent crackdowns by Spanish police, and the overwhelming victory of the October 1 referendum, trying to seize the region now seems incredibly risky, and a recipe for open rebellion.
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