The deposed President of Catalonia Carlos Puigdemont has called for a peaceful opposition as tensions heighten in Spain following Catalonia’s declaration of independence on Friday, a declaration that Spain views as illegitimate. Meanwhile the Spanish Government in Madrid have forged ahead with Article 155 and has begun to remove Catalonia’s autonomy by taking over regional power and calling a snap regional election. With Puigdemont and his government removed, the future for Puigdemont is certainly precarious with reports stating that he may face up to 30 years in prison for his part in the rebellion against the Spanish government.
Over the weekend we saw numerous protests and rallies across Spanish regions, in Barcelona specifically hundreds of thousands unified Spain supporters filled the streets calling for Spain’s unity, the so called silent voice which was being unheard by Puigdemont and his government. Puigdemont has claimed that his mandate for Catalonia independence is very strong, but only 43% of the electorate voted for independence in the unofficial referendum. Monday was the first working day since Spain embarked on its regional take over, it will be interesting to see whether Spanish civil servants resist or yield in the coming weeks. One thing is certain, emotions and tensions remain high with a solution far from reached and no clear path out of the trouble can be seen yet. It will be interesting to see how Spanish Prime Minister
Mario Rajoy will use his new powers over the previously autonomous state. Hard liners in his government would like him to be swift and adopt tough measures to finish this business quickly. However his main opposition, the socialists, and some more conservative members of his party would like a gradual response so not to appear as over-reacting and inflaming the situation further.