Catalonia and its capital city, Barcelona, is one of the main travel, tourism and convention cities in Spain. Barcelona is in big trouble today and not a place to enjoy a sightseeing tour, even though it’s also one of the most tolerant cities in the EU.
Barcelona may not be part of the EU too much longer, and if it comes to a majority of their citizens, may not be a part of the Kingdom of Spain any longer. Catalonia and Barcelona recently had locals protesting against too many tourists, and now an aggressive independent movement is in full swing, where the leader of the region is facing 30 years in prison and the Spanish government stepping in to take control of the province declaring rule 155.
A mass demonstration of 450,000 people in Barcelona took place today. Protesters in Catalonia are currently building a human shield around any government building in Barcelona to protect Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, so he couldn’t be jailed for advocating independence. Further brutal clashes between separatists and the civil guard may be in the pipeline.
Mr. Puigdemont joined pro-independence Catalans who marched through Barcelona today as the region was left reeling after the Spanish government moved to take control of the region today.
Spain’s public prosecutor is currently preparing a lawsuit against Mr. Puigdemont over the independence vote. If he declares independence, he is expected to be arrested for the crime of rebellion against the Spanish constitution.
The crime of rebellion is defined as an uprising designed to “repeal, suspend or totally or partially modify the Constitution” or “declare independence of a part of the national territory.”
The controversial referendum on Catalonia’s independence has been declared illegal and unconstitutional by Spanish authorities as separatists did not follow proper legal procedure in calling the vote.
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy invoked Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, taking control of the autonomous region this morning.
Mr. Puigdemont and his ministers have all been deposed, with Spanish authorities stepping in to govern the province after a controversial independence referendum that saw 90 percent of voters opt to leave the Mediterranean kingdom.
After throwing out the current government, Mr. Rajoy will trigger new regional elections within six months. Parliament will continue to sit until then.