Madrid will trigger the suspension of Catalonia’s political autonomy on Saturday after the region missed a deadline to clarify an ambiguous declaration of independence.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont was given until 10.30am CET on Thursday to clear-up whether Catalonia had declared its intention to split from Spain.
Puigdemont declared independence following a referendum but then suspended it and called for talks with Madrid.
Madrid confirmed on Thursday it would invoke article 155 of Spain’s 1978 constitution, which allows it to take control of a region if it breaks the law.
Puigdemont told members of his Catalan Democratic Party on Wednesday night that not only he would not back down but that he would press ahead with a more formal declaration of independence if Rajoy suspends Catalonia’s political autonomy.
Watch in full: Spanish government statement on Catalonia