Spain to start Catalonia takeover Saturday

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has announced that he intends to begin the imposition of direct rule over Catalonia on Saturday, as part of an emergency cabinet meeting. This is expected to include the revocation of the region’s historical autonomy.

This is the culmination of weeks of threats from Rajoy since the October 1 referendum in which Catalonia voted to secede from Spain. Catalan officials have signed a declaration of independence, but have delayed implementation, seeking talks.

Rajoy has ruled out talks, however, and is set to take the region over outright. The Socialist Party, Catalonia’s main opposition, says that they endorse the takeover and implementation of direct rule by Rajoy to stop secession.

The Socialist Party says they’ve received assurance that the Catalan parliament will be dissolved and new elections will be held in January. Given how many secessionists the Spanish government is threatening to arrest, the Socialists may not have a lot of rivals to run against by then.