A final deadline of prime minister Mariano Rajoy ultimatum to Catalonia to renounce de independence aspirations has passed at 10:00 (local time) on Thursday, 19 October. Madrid wowed to suspend the region’s autonomy in case president Carles Puigdemont does not provide clear proof of alignment to Constitution of Kingdom of Spain, which does not foresee any further forms of independence than regional governance, Catalonia already has.
Catalonia’s president Carles Puigdemont was given until 10:00 local time (08:00 GMT) to clarify his position. After a referendum on 1 October, he signed an independence declaration but then suspended it, asking for dialogue in search for a compromise.
Puigdemont has already informed the members of Parliament and Catalan government of his intention to go ahead with independence in case Rajoy strips the region of autonomy.
There concerns over Catalan crisis are mounting, while Rajoy continues to reject any dialogue, insisting on keeping Constitution intact, addressing a referendum on independence ‘illegal’, and attempting to criminalise the expressions of freedom aspirations of Catalans.
Article 155 of Spain’s 1978 constitution, which cemented democratic rule after the death of dictator General Franco three years earlier, allows Madrid to impose direct rule in a crisis but it has never been invoked.