The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, made a statement on Friday evening regarding the central government's response to Catalonia's declaration of independence earlier in the day.

Mr. Rajoy said the central government had sacked First Minister Carles Puigdemont, Deputy First Minister Oriol Junqueras and all of the other regional ministers in the Catalan government.

The Prime Minister also announced he had dissolved the Catalan Parliament and called regional elections for December 21: "free, legal and clean".

The central government has ordered all of Catalonia's "embassies" abroad closed, along with the region's publicly funded Diplocat diplomacy service, and sacked the director general of the Catalan Police (Mossos), Pere Soler.

Mr. Rajoy said it was a "sad" day for Spain and that Catalan leaders had shown "contempt" for democracy, and that "prudence" and "serenity" were now needed: "we never wanted to reach this situation".

The Spanish state has enough resources to "recover normality" in Catalonia within the law, the PM assured Spaniards.

He thanked the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and Ciudadanos for their support during Catalan crisis;