The Minister of Defence, María Dolores de Cospedal, caused controversy before Spain's national day celebrations on Thursday by telling a television show she was "almost" certain the central government would not have to use the Armed Forces as part of the Catalan crisis.

Asked about the government's plan for applying Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to suspend home rule, she replied it was acting with "proportionality" and "firmness".

Pressed further on Article 8, which defines the main constitutional role of the Armed Forces, Mrs. De Cospedal replied: "I am almost completely certain it is not going to be necessary to use them".

"We have they duty, and they have the duty", she added: "they know they do, to be ready, the men and women who make up the the armed forces, to d...

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