Carme Forcadell said in a televised address that "Mariano Rajoy has announced a de facto coup d'etat with the goal of ousting a democratically elected government."
The speaker of the Catalan parliament characterized the move of Spanish authorities as an "authoritarian" attempt.
As Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont failed to meet the deadline to clarify the status of the region, Spanish central authorities declared an emergency session. After the meeting Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced invocation of the Article 155 of Spanish Constitution which means that if the national Senate backs Rajoy's initiative next week he will be given extraordinary powers to strip the autonomous status of the region.
The prime minister then specified that Catalan autonomy was not suspended, however, he pledged to dissolve Catalonia's parliament and call a snap election.
Pro-independence supporters staged a protest after the news came that two Catalan activists had been arrested and accused of sedition. The most fierce secessionists call for an immediate declaration of independence but in case Carles Puigdemont chooses this pathway he will be facing a prison sentence up to 30 years.