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Spain moves to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy

Note4students

Mains Paper 2:  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

The following things are important from UPSC perspective:

Prelims: Referendum

Mains level: This news talks about the succeeding events in Spain following October referendum which declared Catalonia a separate state from Spain.

 


News

Context

  1. Spain said it will move to seize some of the Catalan regional government’s powers after its leader warned that he could declare independence, escalating the country’s worst political crisis in decades.
  2. The central government in Madrid had given separatist leader Carles Puigdemont time until 10:00 am to say whether or not he was declaring a breakaway state in the semi-autonomous region following a chaotic referendum on October 1.
  3. Prime Minister of Spain had warned he would trigger Article 155 of Spain’s Constitution a never before used measure allowing it to impose direct rule over the wealthy northeastern region unless Mr. Puigdemont backed down.

The potential impact of this decision

  1. There are fears that such a move, allowing Madrid to potentially suspend Mr. Puigdemont’s government and take over its police force, could spark unrest in a region where even Catalans who oppose independence cherish their autonomy highly.
  2. The separatist leader responded that Catalan lawmakers could vote to declare secession unilaterally if Madrid triggers Article 155.
  3. Article 155 a process that would take several days to restore legality in the region.
  4. The Catalonia crisis has prompted a series of huge street rallies, worried investors and added to the woes of a European Union already grappling with Brexit.
  5. Catalonia’s 7.5 million residents are fiercely attached to their own language and culture but are divided on whether to break away from the rest of Spain.
  6. But according to the separatist leader his regional administration has a mandate to declare independence from what he says was a 90% “Yes” vote on October 1.
  7. But turnout was given as only 43%.
  8. Many voters who oppose independence stayed away from a referendum that had been declared illegal by Spain’s Constitutional Court.
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