MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has accused Spanish King Felipe VI of supporting "aggressive acts" of the government in Madrid, which is limiting the rights of the autonomous region.
On Saturday, the Spanish authorities decided to invoke Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which envisages suspension of some of Catalonia's autonomy under specific conditions. In particular, the Spanish government announced its decision to dissolve the Catalan government and hold a snap election to the regional parliament as soon as possible. These measures are expected to be adopted by the Senate during the meeting on October 27.
"It is not the first time when Catalan institutions have been attacked by the state with the support of the king in an attempt to weaken, disorient or directly suppress them… The Catalans have repeatedly overcome acts of aggression, realizing that it [aggression] conceals the state's inability to make political decisions, and thus they [the Catalans] have become more and more strong and resolute, seeking an increasingly high level of self-government," Puigdemont said Saturday commenting on the situation around the Catalan referendum.
On October 1, over 90 percent of more than 2.2 million Catalans who participated in the region’s referendum on independence supported the region's secession from Spain. The referendum has been deemed illegal by Madrid.
On October 10, Puigdemont announced that the results of the vote enabled the declaration of independence. However, the Catalan leader called on the regional parliament to suspend the proclamation in order to pave the way for dialogue with Madrid.
On Thursday, after Puigdemont failed to meet the deadline set by Madrid to clarify whether the region had declared independence, the Spanish cabinet said it would convene on Saturday for an emergency meeting to begin the procedure of invoking Article 155.