Catalonia declares independence as Spain prepares to impose direct rule

- Catalonia declares independence as Spain prepares to impose direct rule.

- Calls for help from Spain to set up a new republic.

- Spanish parliament set to approve article 155.
Catalonia's parliament has on Friday declared its independence from Spain just as Spain prepares to impose direct rule on the region.

Although many countries will not recognise Catalonia's sovreignty, this move will certainly
take this ongoing crisis with Spain to its utmost heights.

The motion passed in the regional parliament in Barcelona which was boycotted by opposition parties said Catalonia constituted an independent, sovereign and social democratic state. It called on other countries and institutions to recognize it.

It also said it wanted to open talks with Madrid to collaborate on setting up the new republic.

"It is not going to be easy, it is not going to be free, it is not going to change in a day. But there is no alternative to a process towards the Catalan Republic," lawmaker Marta Rovira of the Junts pel Si pro-independence alliance said in a debate leading to the vote.

Meanwhile, the Spanish parliament is also set to approve the controversial article 155 of their constitution which should effectively allow Spain impose direct rule over Catalonia.

"Exceptional measures should only be adopted when no other remedy is possible," Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in an address to the Senate. "In my opinion there is no alternative. The only thing that can be done and should be done is to accept and comply with the law."

According to Reuters, "In Barcelona, crowds of independence supporters were swelling on downtown streets, shouting "Liberty" in the Catalan language and singing traditional Catalan songs."

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