EU warns ‘more cracks’ in bloc as Spain dissolves Catalonia’s parliament after it declares independence

28 Oct

Donald Tusk, the European Council president, said Madrid “remains our only interlocutor” following the independence vote. “I hope the Spanish government favours force of argument, not argument of force,” he said.

Catalan leader faces arrest

A senior Spanish official said the justice ministry was now pursuing rebellion charges against those responsible for the vote, including Catalan president Carles Puigdemont.

Under Spanish law, rebellion can be punished with up to 30 years in prison, with shorter penalties if the act of rebellion doesn’t lead to violence.

The Catalan resolution, which Madrid has dismissed as illegal, was passed by 70 votes to 10 and caused shares in Spanish companies, particularly Catalan banks, to drop sharply. CaixaBank, Spain’s third largest lender, fell by around five per cent while Sabadell, the country’s fifth largest lender, fell roughly six per cent.

All public services to be controlled by Spain

Mr Rajoy’s powers were granted to him under Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, which is designed to prevent the country’s 17 regions from breaking away.

It is understood that a new leadership structure will now be imposed on the region’s Mossos d’Esqudra police force, whose current chief, Major Josep Lluís Trapero, is already facing a judicial investigation for alleged sedition.

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