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Catalonia independence: Spain takes charge of Catalan government


The Spanish government has stripped Catalonia of its autonomy and taken charge of its government.

The measures came early on Saturday after the Catalan parliament voted to declare independence on Friday.

An official state bulletin dismissed Catalan leaders and handed control of Catalonia to Spain's Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has called for "democratic opposition" to the takeover. He made the call in a TV address broadcast from an undisclosed location.

Earlier, Spain's interior ministry took charge of Catalonia's police after firing senior Catalan police officials, as reported by BBC.

On Friday, PM Mariano Rajoy announced the dissolution of the regional parliament and the removal of the Catalan leader, and called snap local elections.

Demonstrations for and against independence went on into the night. A large rally "for the unity of Spain and the constitution" is being held in Madrid.

The crisis began when Catalan leaders held an independence referendum, defying a ruling by the Constitutional Court which had declared it illegal.

The Catalan government said that of the 43% of potential voters who took part, 90% were in favour of independence. Others boycotted the vote after the court ruling.


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