Catalonia ignored the most recent ultimatum from Spain on disavowing their independence referendum on Thursday, and Spanish officials have announced they will begin the process of seizing direct control over the region, and revoking all of its historical autonomy, on Saturday.
This move was announced by Spanish officials despite repeated warnings from Catalan President Carles Puigdemont that any attempt to remove their autonomy would lead to Catalonia declaring full independence from Spain.
Catalonia held a referendum on October 1, in which in overwhelming majority supported independence. Spain insisted the referendum didn’t count, and Spanish police injured over 800 voters in a violent crackdown, which has only increased support for the declaration.
Puigdemont signed an independence declaration last week, but suspended its implementation pending talks with Spain. Spanish officials, however, have ruled out talks and are threatening to jail a number of additional Catalan leaders for sedition.
The rest of the EU is largely supporting Spain in the measure, many fearing a successful Catalan secession would bolster such moves around the continent. One EU diplomat also said many have “not much to gain from backing Barcelona, and a lot to lose from angering Madrid.”
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