- The US government said it wants Spain to remain united amid the ongoing dispute over Catalan independence.
- Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy imposed direct rule on Catalonia after the region declared independence.
- The Catalan parliament needed at least 68 votes for the measure to pass.
The US State Department says it supports the Spanish government’s efforts to seize control of Catalonia after the region’s parliament declared independence on Friday.
“Catalonia is an integral part of Spain, and the United States supports the Spanish government’s constitutional measures to keep Spain strong and united,” Heather Nauert, the State Department spokesperson, said.
This echoes President Donald Trump, who said during a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in September that it would be “foolish” for Catalonia to secede.
“I think Spain is a great country, and it should remain united,” Trump said.
The Catalan parliament voted 70 to 10 in favour of declaring the Catalan Republic “an independent, and sovereign, democratic and social state of law.”
The Catalan vote — which needed a majority of 68 “yes” votes — passed with 70 ballots in favour, 10 against, and two blank. As the meeting came to a close, deputies stood and sang “Els Segadors,” the Catalan national anthem.
Just 40 minutes after the vote, Rajoy requested powers to impose direct rule over the turbulent region. His request was granted and is set to go into effect Friday night.
The move follows the October 1 referendum, in which 2.2. million Catalans voted to leave Spain.
The European Union and virtually the entire international community oppose Catalan independence efforts, which have hurt the region’s economic prospects.
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