Sacked Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont has called for peaceful “democratic opposition” to the central government’s takeover of the region hours after the Spanish government triggered Article 155 of the 1978 Spanish constitution, which allows Madrid to suspend, sack any form of regional government.
“It’s very clear that the best form of defending the gains made up until now is democratic opposition to Article 155,” Puigdemont said in a brief statement, referring to the constitutional trigger for the takeover.
Moments after triggering Article 155, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of People’s Party (PP), said Puigdemont “was the one who decided to continue moving forward with the process for applying Article 155. It was he and only he.”
“The thing that threatens Catalonia is not Article 155, but [the Catalan government],” Rajoy said.
On October 1, 2017, Catalans voted in a disputed independence referendum that was ruled illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court and met with police violence, which was condemned by rights groups and European leaders.
Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont announced independence on October 10, but suspended the declaration after eight seconds to encourage dialogue with Madrid, which never held.
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