Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced that his central government would use Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to sack the entire Catalan regional government and force new elections in the region within six months.

The responsibilities of the Catalan government will be administered in the interim period by central government ministries.

The Catalan Parliament will not be allowed to present a new candidate for First Minister, to prevent Mr. Puigdemont from being reappointed.

This is the first time in the modern democratic period that a central government has suspended home rule in one of Spain's 17 regions.

Mr. Rajoy said "This is not a suspension of home rule but the dismissal of those who lead the regional government".

The Spanish Senate will be in charge of controlling the process.

"The First Minister of the Catalan government was invited to parliament and he did not accept", said Mr. Rajoy, in a long press conference following an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Saturday, adding that Catalan leaders had tried to "impose" their will on the central government.

The "most anti-democratic part" of the past few weeks was "what happened in the Catalan Parliament on September 6 and 7".

"Dialogue is a lovely word", said the PM, but "Dialogue does not mean the others have to accept your demands".

"Dialogue outside of the law is deeply undemocratic".

Mr. Rajoy said there were four aims of applying Article 155 in Catalonia: to return to the rule of law, to get back to normality and "coexistence", to continue with the economic recovery, and to hold elections in a situation of normality.

He said the six-month period before elections was the maximum period of time he would like to see pass before a new vote.

The PM said the Article 155 can now only be stopped "if the Senate does not approve it". The governing Popular Party holds and absolute majority in the Spanish Senate.

Published: 3:09 pm, Oct 21 2017 (link)

Article 155 Measures Include Taking Full Control Of Mossos & TV3

The Article 155 measures announced by the Spanish government on Saturday include the central government taking full control of both the Catalan Police (Mossos) and Catalan public television (TV3), a copy of the document sent to the Spanish Senate showed.

The central government will also take full charge of the regional economy, finances and taxes, which represent one-fifth of Spanish GDP.

The Catalan Parliament will continue to function, but in the interim period will not be allowed to appoint a new First Minister or approve any laws without the go ahead of the central government, which will have a 30-day veto on any measures the regional chamber wants to pass.

The central government also reserves the right to ask the Senate to allow new measures for Catalonia, should they be deemed necessary.