Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has said Catalonia will resist attempts by Spain to enforce direct rule on Catalans. He has also called for “democratic opposition” to direct rule from Madrid.
According to BBC, Puigdemont condemned the suspension of Catalonia’s autonomy and promised to continue to”work to build a free country”. He made the call in a pre-recorded TV address to Catalans broadcast on Saturday afternoon.
The Spanish government has stripped Catalonia of its autonomy and taken charge of its government. The measures came early on Saturday after the Catalan parliament voted to declare independence the previous day. Earlier, Spain’s interior ministry took charge of Catalonia’s police after firing senior Catalan police officials.
Friday saw Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announce the dissolution of the regional parliament and the removal of Mr Puigdemont as Catalan leader, and call snap regional elections. An an official state bulletin (in Spanish) handed control of Catalonia to Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.
Demonstrations for and against independence went on into the night and a large rally “for the unity of Spain and the constitution” was held in Madrid on Saturday. In his TV address, Mr Puigdemont, describing the declaration of independence, said Friday had been “a day with democratic and civic sensibility”.
He said the central government’s actions since then were “contrary to the expressed will of the citizens of our country, who know perfectly well that in a democracy it is parliaments that choose, or remove, presidents”.