Rajoy calls emergency cabinet meeting to halt Catalonia’s independence bid

SHOWS: MADRID, SPAIN (OCTOBER 21, 2017) (REUTERS) – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday (October 21) to pave the way for Madrid establishing central control in the Catalonia and check the regional government’s push for independence.

The Spanish government has secured opposition support for dissolving Catalonia’s parliament and holding new elections there in January. Rajoy wants opposition support to be able to present a united front in the crisis.

The Socialists, the main opposition, said on Friday they would back special measures to impose central rule on the region to thwart the secessionist-minded Catalan government and end a crisis that has unsettled the euro and hurt confidence in the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy.

The government would not confirm whether January elections formed a part of the package, with Rajoy saying only that the measures would be announced on Saturday.

It will be the first time in Spain’s four decades of democracy that Madrid has invoked the constitution effectively to sack a regional government and call new elections.