Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced that the central government has moved to take the first step towards suspending home rule in Catalonia on Wednesday morning.

"Cabinet has agreed to notify the Catalan government [so that it may] confirm if it has declared independence", he said.

On Tuesday, Catalan First Minister Carles Puigdemont "[assumed the mandate][pg]" for Catalonia "to become" a republic, but then immediately asked the Catalan Parliament to suspend its effects, leaving the country wondering what he had really meant.

"In the reply to the notification", said Mr. ...