Barcelona—Parlament de Catalunya

This afternoon, Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan President, will announce his plan for the wealthy region’s future.

In the wake of the controversial referendum that has split Catalans, he’s expected to either declare a unilateral declaration of independence or some sort of smooth secession from Spain.

In the October 1st plebiscite, 90% of participants voted for independence.  But the turnout was just 43%.   The vote was declared illegal by the national government in Madrid and condemned by European countries.

Fearing a secession, Catalan public and financial figures have since raised concerns about Puigdemont’s separation plans.  A number of big businesses have already announced their flight from Catalonia, which contributes 19% to Spain’s GDP.

If Puigdemont does declare independence, the Catalan Parliament, which is packed with pro-independence MPs, would have 48 hours to decide.

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But the National government in Madrid has other plans.

“The government will ensure that any declaration of independence will lead to nothing,” said Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. And under Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, his government could intervene and suspend any decision.

Rallies are held in both Madrid and Barcelona.  Both unity and separatist supporters will be congregating outside the Parliament.  Troops of armed police and paramilitary officers are deployed to ensure order.

 

Featured image of Catalan Parliament courtesy of Wikimedia