Spain to axe Catalonia govt

MADRID • Spain has announced it will move to dismiss Catalonia's separatist government and call fresh elections in the semi-autonomous region in a bid to stop its leaders from declaring independence.

The drastic escalation of Spain's worst political crisis in decades will see separatist leader Carles Puigdemont and his administration stripped of their jobs, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told reporters after a crisis meeting of his Cabinet yesterday.

Catalonia, which is home to 7.5 million people, held a banned independence referendum on Oct 1, with Mr Puigdemont threatening to declare a breakaway state based on its results.

PM Rajoy said he will seek Senate approval for permission to dissolve the Catalan Parliament and call elections within six months.

Mr Puigdemont was due to respond later last night.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 22, 2017, with the headline 'Spain to axe Catalonia govt'. Print Edition | Subscribe