BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Catalonia’s ousted chief known as for peaceable opposition to Spain’s choice to take direct management of the area, saying Saturday that he and different regional officers fired by the central authorities will preserve “working to construct a free nation.”
Carles Puigdemont’s feedback, made in a recorded televised handle that was broadcast as he sat in a restaurant in his hometown of Girona, had been a veiled refusal to simply accept his Cupboard’s dismissal as ordered by central authorities.
They got here a day after one of the crucial tumultuous days in Spain’s latest historical past, when Catalan lawmakers in Barcelona handed a declaration of independence Friday for the affluent northeastern area, and the nationwide parliament in Madrid accredited unprecedented constitutional measures to halt the secessionist drive.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy additionally dissolved the regional parliament and known as a brand new regional election to be held on Dec. 21.
In his televised assertion, Puigdemont mentioned solely the regional parliament can elect or dismiss the Catalan authorities, vowing to “proceed working to construct a free nation.”
“The easiest way now we have to defend the achievements up to now is the democratic opposition to the applying of Article 155,” Puigdemont mentioned in reference to the constitutional clause that gave Madrid direct management of affairs in Catalonia.
Regardless of his defiant tone and the usage of the official Catalan authorities emblem, the Catalan and European Union flags however no signal of the Spanish one, some political commentators noticed his point out of “democratic opposition” as laying the groundwork for political campaigning for the regional election in lower than two months.
“Our will is to proceed working to meet the democratic mandates and on the similar time search the utmost stability and tranquility,” Puigdemont mentioned. Separatists argue controversial victory in a banned Oct. 1 referendum legitimizes them to separate from Spain.
Andrew Dowling, a specialist in Catalan historical past at Cardiff College in Wales, mentioned the assertion was “imprecise and imprecise, actually not just like the president of a brand new nation.”
“They’ve led 2 million Catalans to consider in independence, so it is a huge drawback to inform them now that it is truly troublesome to construct a state when Spain has the higher hand of the regulation on its aspect,” Dowling mentioned. “They’re trapped by their very own rhetoric.”
After Spain’s central authorities made the takeover official early Saturday, Puigdemont and the 12 members who till Saturday made up the Catalan Cupboard are now not paid.
Spain’s authorities has mentioned they could possibly be charged with usurping others’ features in the event that they refuse to obey, which might throw the area into additional turmoil by prolonging a monthlong standoff.
In feedback that had been met late Friday with jeers and whistles of disapproval by secession supporters in Barcelona, Rajoy mentioned the declaration of independence “not solely goes in opposition to the regulation however is a felony act.”
Spanish prosecutors say prime Catalan officers might face rise up prices as quickly as Monday.
Refusing to touch upon Puigdemont’s televised handle, Rajoy’s workplace mentioned on Saturday that his actions can be a judicial affair to any extent further and that the Dec. 21 election could be the way in which “to return dignity to the Catalan establishments.”
It is not clear in any respect whether or not a brand new election would resolve Spain’s issues with separatists in Catalonia. Polls recommend pro-independence events would probably keep their slim benefit in parliamentary seats however would not get greater than 50 p.c of the vote.
Past any potential resistance from prime Catalan officers, it is unclear how Rajoy’s authorities in Madrid will be capable to exert its management at decrease ranges of Catalonia’s huge regional administration.
Catalonia had secured the flexibility to manipulate itself in lots of areas, together with schooling, well being and policing, since democracy returned to Spain following the demise of dictator Gen. Francisco Franco in 1975.
Some amongst Catalonia’s roughly 200,000 civil servants have mentioned they are going to refuse to obey orders from Madrid. They threat being punished and even fired below the particular powers granted to central authorities by the nation’s Senate on Friday.
Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria can be Rajoy’s level particular person in operating Catalonia till the brand new regional election. She is going to coordinate different ministries that take over features of Catalonia’s regional departments, together with funds and safety, and appoint officers to implement orders from Madrid.
In one of many first strikes, Spain’s Inside Ministry revealed an order to demote Josep Lluis Trapero from his place as head of the regional Mossos d’Esquadra police in Catalonia. He was allowed to stay as commissar, however he later launched an announcement saying he was resigning from the power.
Trapero grew to become a divisive determine as the general public face of the police response in mid-August to lethal extremists’ assaults in and close to Barcelona. He was praised for effectiveness but additionally criticized for coordination issues with different nationwide police forces.
Spain’s Nationwide Court docket can be investigating him as a part of a sedition probe associated to the banned Oct. 1 independence referendum, when the regional police had been seen as appearing passively — not aggressively — to halt the vote deemed unlawful by a prime Spanish courtroom.
Trapero’s boss, regional police director Pere Soler, mentioned in an announcement that he accepted his firing by central authorities in Madrid.