Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis gave an interview to the Associated Press over the weekend, in which he insisted that Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont had been “deposed,” that everyone knows Catalonia isn’t independent, and no one will obey Puigdemont anymore.
Dastis insists the Spanish central government is absolutely in charge of the region of Catalonia, and that new elections will be held on December 21. He warned that even if the pro-independence Catalans don’t participate in the vote, its results will be final.
He added that “people are perplexed” by the attempt to declare independence,and that no one thinks that ‘such a thing would be possible in Europe in the 21st century.” In the October 1 referendum, an overwhelming majority of Catalans voted for independence, though Spain insists this “didn’t count.” The Catalan parliament voted 70-10 on Friday to declare independence, and establish itself as a sovereign republic. Spain responded by insisting they are all fired, and that all the MPs who voted yes might be charged with crimes.
Dastis said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Catalonia getting “more autonomy” in the future, though it could never be independent. He added that Puigdemont might be allowed to run in the December 21 election if he hasn’t been imprisoned by the Spanish government before then.
With Spanish officials very keen to replace the Catalan government with the lone loyalist faction, the Socialists, it is likely that most of the leadership of other regional parties will be rounded up and jailed before that vote, in an attempt to preclude Catalonia simply electing an even more pro-independence government.
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