FORMER education minister for Catalunya Clara Ponsatí has left Belgium – where she was in exile with three of her colleagues and deposed regional president Carles Puigdemont – and is now in the UK. She has returned...
Catalunya could lose its autonomy in seven days
CATALUNYA president Carles Puigdemont has just four days left to clarify to the Spanish government whether or not his 'simulation of independence' but with 'delayed effects' speech means he has unilaterally declared the region's secession.
National president Mariano Rajoy criticised Puigdemont for 'causing confusion' for the people of Spain and Catalunya by his somewhat cryptic discourse.
The uncertainty created means businesses are opting to shift their head offices out of the region and to other parts of Spain as a precaution, with well over 30 corporate giants having already moved and more planning on doing so.
Rajoy says if Puigdemont has, in fact, declared independence, and clarifies that this is the case, he will then have three days to withdraw his declaration.
If he does not do so, Spain will invoke Article 155 of the national Constitution, which means withdrawing all self-governing powers from the region and putting under the direct rule of the national government, including finances, law, public services and the justice system.
Opposition members in Spain's government have urged Rajoy not to trigger Article 155, but instead to agree to talks and to amend the Constitution.
Left-wing party Podemos does not agree with Catalunya's independence, but says the only way it will be stopped is by allowing the people to hold a legally-agreed referendum.
Pro-secession parties signed a declaration of independence on Tuesday night, but included the clause that the process would be halted temporarily to give space for talks between Spain and Catalunya.
Article 155 has never been triggered in the history of Spain's Constitution, which was rubber-stamped in December 1978, nearly 39 years ago, as part of the country's transition from dictatorship to democracy.
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