Catalan independence crisis: President Mariano Rajoy requests authority to fire Carles Puidgemont

Spanish Government set to strip Catalan Parliament of its powers

Mariano Rajoy's motion to impose Article 155 is set to be backed by the Senate

Friday, October 27, 2017

Spanish President Mariano Rajoy has asked the country's Senate to give him the authority to dismiss Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and the rest of his regional government.

Rajoy made the request in the national legislative chamber this morning (October 27). The request was reportedly greeted with applause from members of his ruling Popular Party.

The Senate in Madrid is expected to approve the use of Article 155 by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, which will remove the Catalan authorities of their sovereignty.

In response, Junts Pel Si, a pro-independence coalition in Catalonia, has demanded that independence be formalised as soon as possible.

The group, which is headed by regional minister Raul Romeva, has proposed that the Catalan Parliament vote on "a Catalan republic as an independent and sovereign state."

Tension between Madrid and Barcelona has reached a new pitch in the wake of Catalonia’s independence referendum on October 1.

The vote was labelled illegal and unconstitutional by the Spanish government, and there were violent scenes as police actively attempted to hinder voters at polling stations.

Puigdemont said he was ready to declare independence after the vote, but then suspended its implementation to call for talks with Madrid.

Yesterday he said he had been ready to declare an election – which had been presented as a solution to the crisis – but had not been given enough assurances from the Spanish Government that it would hold off on imposing emergency powers.