The Catalan Parliament voted to declare independence from Spain on Friday afternoon, with 70 votes in favour, 10 against and 2 blank, in a 135-member chamber.

The Speaker, Carme Forcadell, read out part of the resolution from the Speaker's chair before separatists voted.

Opposition parties abandoned the chamber. Xavier García Albiol (PP) said separatists were cowards who were afraid of Spanish criminal law and that is why they wanted to vote in secret.

Junts Pel Sí asked for the vote to be secret, and the Speaker agreed, despite opposition protests. Those MPs who had remained behind placed their ballots in a box placed on the Speaker's table.

After the vote, the members remaining in the chamber sang Els Segadors.

In Madrid, the Spanish Senate debated and then approved Article 155 measures to suspend home rule in Catalonia, voting 214 in favour and 47 against.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted his first response and called for calm.

"I ask all Spaniards to be calm. The state of law will restore legality in Catalonia".

A spokesman for the Spanish Prime Minister's office, Moncloa, confirmed to The Spain Report that the Spanish government will hold an extraordinary cabinet meeting this evening to decide on Spain's initial response.

Catalan Deputy First Minister Oriol Junqueras (ERC) tweeted: "Yes, we have won the freedom to build a new country".

His party, Republican Catalan Left (Esquerra, ERC), announced the result several minutes early on Twitter.

Catalan separatists celebrated the news: "Welcome CATALAN REPUBLIC!", read one WhatsApp message from a leading separatist group: "Between us all we will make you fair and dignified!".

A separatist Telegram group, RepublicaARA, called on its followers to "fill the streets" after the historic vote.

Published: 4:10 pm, Oct 27 2017 (link)

Spanish Senate Approves Article 155 To Suspend Home Rule In Catalonia

The Spanish Senate voted to approve Article 155 powers for the central government to suspend home rule in Catalonia, shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday evening. The vote as 214 in favour and 47 against.