Spain Seeks Huge Power Transfer in Trying to Oust Catalan Leadership

Revoking Autonomy Will Be a Huge Task

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has announced this weekend his intention to try to formally seize total control over the region of Catalonia. This includes ousting the entire Catalan leadership from power, and revoke their full autonomy.

Catalonia’s autonomy is peculiar within Spain, and revoking it amounts to a massive transfer of power, with the national government seeking to nationalize regional police, regional media outlets, and have full control over the region’s finances.

This starts with sacking Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, a process which is expected to happen this week. Spain’s Senate is to start discussing Rajoy’s bid to seize the region Tuesday, Puigdemont can testify on Thursday in his defense, and the vote is likely Friday.

Rajoy’s goal is to force a snap election in Catalonia, in hopes that they can replace the secessionists with pro-Spain figures, likely from the Socialist Party. Until such a vote, likely impossible until early 2018, Catalonia’s parliament would nominally remain in power under this plan, though Rajoy would have absolute veto power over them, and the parliament would be forbidden questioning any of the national government’s moves/

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.