Catalan regional assembly to debate proposal for independence
The Catalan regional assembly (parliament) will debate the proposal of the governing Junts pel Si (JxSi) coalition on Friday for a unilateral declaration of independence.
The JxSi calls for "the formation of a Catalan state as an independent and sovereign state with social and democratic rights" in response to Madrid's demand for senate approval of direct rule over Catalonia.
Spain's rich Catalonia autonomous region held a referendum on self-determination on Oct. 1, which had been declared illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court.
The Spanish state prosecutor's office responded to that possibility by saying it would present charges of "rebellion" against Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, his deputy Oriol Junqueras and the rest of the Catalan executive.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy addressed the senate on Friday to defend the application of Article 155 of the constitution, which would suspend the autonomy of the Catalan region in northeastern Spain.
Speaking to the senators before the Catalan proposal was published, Rajoy said the independence process was "the biggest mockery of democracy since the Constitution was approved in 1978."
"The Constitutional court has been ignored ... And it has been a process of continued anti-democratic decisions, against the law and Spanish and European values," said Rajoy.