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Spain imposes direct rule after Catalonia votes to declare independence
MPs voted to create ‘a Catalan republic as an independent and sovereign state’ in defiance of Madrid
Spain’s senate has granted the country’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, unprecedented powers to impose direct rule on Catalonia minutes after the region’s parliament voted to establish an independent republic on Friday afternoon.
Rajoy, who has vowed to stop the region becoming independent, is now expected to call a cabinet meeting to begin assuming control of the region and sacking its president, Carles Puigdemont.
On Friday afternoon, Catalan MPs voted for independence by a margin of 70 votes to 10. Two ballot papers were blank.
The result was greeted with jubilation by pro-independence MPs, who applauded and began singing the Catalan anthem, Els Segadors. Thousands of people gathered outside Catalonia’s parliament building in support of the region’s independence bid cheered and danced at the move.