Catalonia’s 135-member regional parliament voted on Friday to declare independence from Spain in a 70 to 10 ballot that saw most of the opposition walk out prior to the vote.
The parliament voted following a decision by Catalonia’s President Carles Puigdemont not to declare independence, and not to call early elections: instead, he called on parliamentarians to make the decision.
In response, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called for “calm,” asking the country’s senators to impose direct rule to restore “law, democracy and stability” to the region. Rajoy said the “rule of law will be restored to Catalonia.”
Following the vote in Barcelona, Spain’s upper house — the Senate — took the unprecedented step of approving in a vote of 214 to 47 to seize control over Catalonia. Spain’s Constitutional Court has begun legal proceedings against the declaration of independence by the Catalan Parliament, according to euronews.
NATO declared the crisis a “domestic” matter, and said it should be resolved within Spain’s institutional framework. The U.S. State Department likewise declared the region to be an “integral part of Spain.”
Catalonia is one of the country’s wealthiest regions.
This article was posted in New York prior to the start of the Sabbath.