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This after weeks of half-hearted posturing, “negotiations,” an angry speech from the King, and a 90% vote in favor of freedom. Spain voted, only 40 minutes later, to end the secession effort. Historically, this kind of juxtaposition sometimes leads to war. Let’s hope not in this case.

The debate came after Catalan President Carles Puigdemont on Thursday opted against declaring independence or calling early elections, instead calling on MPs to decide.

A motion declaring independence was approved with 70 in favour, 10 against, and two abstentions in the 135-seat chamber.

The measure calls for the transfer of legal powers from Spain to an independent Catalonia.

But the Spanish Constitutional Court is likely to declare it illegal, and few in the international community will recognise Catalan statehood.

Immediately afterwards, Mr Rajoy called for all Spaniards to remain calm, promising to “restore legality” to Catalonia.

What will the Spanish government do next?

Soon after the vote at the regional parliament, the Senate – Spain’s upper house – made the unprecedented step of approving measures allowing the Spanish government to impose direct rule over Catalonia.

There were 214 votes in favour and 47 against.

Mr Rajoy is now expected to hold a cabinet meeting and decide what measures to take.

It could include the firing of Catalan leaders, and the Spanish government taking control of the region’s finances, police and publicly owned media

Elsewhere the usual types decry the move (for independence) as a “dark day for democracy.” In other words, democratic actions of the people and their leaders, in unison, constitute an affront to democracy. Clear as mud – unless these usual suspects only mean democracy as a cover for tyranny. And, that they do.

No telling how this complex case will play out. I have a feeling we will know very soon. (How many tank divisions does Madrid have??)

For now, I welcome and embrace Europe’s newest country.

Déu Beneeix la Catalunya!


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