Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont is poised to press ahead with plans for independence from Spain.
Later this week, the regional Parliament will meet in response to the national government’s decision to impose direct rule from Madrid.
Amidst escalating rhetoric, a diplomatic solutions to the crisis seems increasingly remote. Two of the separatist movement’s leaders are in prison, whilst they are investigated for sedition.
At the weekend, Prime Minister Mariano invoked article 155 of the Spanish constitution for the first time in history, allowing him to claw back Catalonia’s autonomy and trigger a regional election.
Worst attack since Franco
Puigdemont described the move as “the worst attack on the institutions and people of Catalonia since the decrees of the military dictator Francisco Franco” and the Catalan Speaker said it was tantamount to a “coup d’etat”.
The region’s foreign affairs spokesman has said Catalan officials won’t follow orders from the Spanish government.
War of words
The Spanish foreign minister said the only coup that had taken place had been carried out by Puigdemont and his colleagues in calling the referendum in the first place.
Neither side wants to claim responsibility for the disorder that’s caused both political tension and economic woes, with several big companies pulling their headquarters out of the region.