Spain To Activate Article 155 Process, Suspending Catalonia Autonomy

Tyler Durden's picture

Spain announced it will trigger the so-called "nuclear option" of Article 155 under the Spanish Constitution, and move ahead with the process of suspending Catalan autonomy and the powers of the local government, after Regional President Carles Puigdemont for the second time in four days refused to comply with a Spanish ultimatum to clearly drop his claim to independence.

Spain deployed the ultimate constitutional weapon after Puigdemont said the regional parliament may declare independence unless the government in Madrid agrees to talks. Puigdemont’s response came to an ultimatum from Madrid to renounce his claims to full autonomy by Thursday or face the consequences. "It's not that difficult to reply to the question”, but there is still no definitive “yes” or “no”. Consequently, Madrid is poised to trigger Article 155 this Saturday, suspending the autonomy of the breakaway region.

As previewed last night, the "final" deadline passed and the Catalonian leader failed to satisfy Madrid's demands.

Puigdemont had sent a new letter to Mariano Rajoy minutes before the second Article 155 deadline ran out at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning. That new letter did not provide the clarity the central government was seeking about the status of the independence of Catalonia, the Spanish Prime Minister's office said.

“The suspension remains, it’s up to the Spanish Government to enforce article 155 with the authorisation of the Senate… If the central government persists in blocking dialogue and continues its repression, the Catalan Parliament may proceed, if it considers it appropriate, to approve a formal declaration of independence,” Puigdemont said in his letter to Rajoy.

Puigdemont also said that his request for a face-to-face meeting had been ignored, and that Spanish “repression” of Catalonia was being stepped up with the jailing of two separatist activists on Monday. “My request for the repression to end has not been met either,” Puigdemont said. “On the contrary, it has increased.”

In response, the Spanish government said in a Thursday morning statement that “the government will continue with the procedures set out in Article 155 of the Constitution to restore the legality of self-rule in Catalonia."

The deadline had been imposed by the Spanish Government and yesterday Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, warned that anything less than dropping the secession bid meant that it would begin the process of taking control of the Catalonian Administration. This morning, Madrid’s initial response has been to accuse Puigdemont of blackmail and confirm it will continue the process of triggering Article 155.

Next, the Spanish Cabinet will meet this Saturday to trigger Article 155: the Spanish Senate, under the control of Rajoy’s party, would initiate the transfer of power from Catalonia to Madrid "in order to protect the general interest of Spaniards, among them the citizens of Catalonia, and restore constitutional authority in that autonomous community [region]".. It is expected to take 48 hours to appoint a replacement for Puigdemont and set a timeframe for regional elections in Catalonia. After that, it is expected to take several more days for the Government’s decisions to be implemented. So, we are probably looking at late next week before Madrid might take control of policing in Catalonia.

Besides the possibility of civil unrest in Catalonia, Rajoy is also likely to face pressure from groups which are sympathetic to the Catalans. From a BBC report “The Spanish parliament has seen sharp exchanges in recent days, with the head of one left-wing Catalan party accusing the government of choosing humiliation, repression and fear over dialogue. At one point, politicians from radical left-wing Spanish party Podemos held up placards urging the release of the Catalan independence activists, calling them ‘political prisoners’.” In addition, Rajoy has lobbied the Socialists to back him over Catalonia, but they are advising him to take adopt a gradual approach to intervention. 

Article 155 is contained in Spain's 1978 constitution, which was drawn up in the wake of Franco’s death. It has never been invoked, so Spain and financial markets are heading into uncharted territory.

The initial market reaction has been negative, with Europe’s Stoxx 600 extending losses to as much as 0.8%, while Spain’s IBEX 35 slid as much as 1%. Spain 5Y CDS was currently quoted 73.53 according to CMA data as of 9:56am London Wider than South Korea (70.38) and India (71.76) and just inside inside Peru (78.04) and Panama (78.30), according to Bloomberg. The Euro initially slumped on the news, dropping as low as 1.770 before recouping all losses.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Overflow's picture

Real News:


This "pacifist guy" has already been arrested.


The consequences of the "referendum" stage are coming.

Overflow's picture

Only sheep follow the independence hoax.


Only the few activists that attacked police were hurt on sunday.


Even The Guardian is ahead of ZH


60% of Catalans are against independence, Don't forget that when you call "dicatatorship".





Haus-Targaryen's picture

I think the general consensus here is both sides are run by shitheads. 


both sides are run by shitheads.


Not at all!! 

The Catalonian movement is a fascist nazi movement and it's leaders are forming terrorist organization. They are trying to split up and terrorise Europe and destroy the European harmony.

Occident Mortal's picture

Keep your hair on.

As far as I can see they haven't created any external bogeymen to rail against, they are trying to assert their own identity not destroy somebody elses.


I don't really see a problem, I think Spain have handled the whole thing extremely badly.

Using violence to defame a ballot was always going to backfire spectacularly.


Likewise Catalan had their moment with which to jump into the arms of the rest of the world, whilst the world was sympathetic but they bottled it. Now it will never happen, Catalan surrendered the moment to their rivals who have now regrouped and are moving swiftly to quell the whole movement.


In matters like this you cannot pause or blink, any attempt at secesation or independence by any group must be an uninterrupted non negotiatble charge at the door.

doctor10's picture

wait until Madrid places them on "double secret probation"....then you'll really see!!!

Dutti's picture

Currently I am spending several weeks in one of the "autonomous" regions of Spain.

Even though I don't agree with the excessive bureaucracy in Spain, I still think the Catalonian separatist movement is going too far. Other Spaniards are not amused and rightly so. Some people here are thinking of not buying Catalan goods and services anymore.

Bad for the Catalan and the Spanish economy - so sad.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

The trend worldwide is toward fracturing/tribalism and against centralization. World leaders dont think so, or would rather not think about cuts into their powerlust. But everything is cyclical and the cycle is waning for centralization. It's reached peak inefficiency and is failing under the weight of its own internal contradictions.

That doesnt mean the powerlusters wont try ANYTHING to hang on to their power (see Rajoy, Brussells, establishment US politicians as examples); it only means they wont succeed. They'll either leave the stage, or get everyone killed--either way, they still lose.

Reptil's picture

Finally a sensible comment. 
This is a simple powerstruggle. The ones in control of the national government want to extract wealth from a region (all regions really) through taxation.
This after transporting bank debt to public debt, just like the ECB has done. To keep their failing investment banking system in place.

The regional catelan government see an opportunity to wrestle (financial) independence from the clutches of Madrid, for three reasons:
1. the Rajoy gang is utterly corrupt and using public power to further political (read: individual) goals
2. they don't want to pay for the HUGE debt, racked up, and to transport their wealth to the banks. 
3. the national governments in Europe are being dissolved into a EU State government and judiciary. Which is undemocratic. They simply want to establish a regional powerbase to counter whatever technocratic bullshit comes their way.

They don't want to end up like Greece, with a government elite bankrupting the whole country, at the expense of the people, and then blaming it on some inane tagline such as "socialism". They're not socialists, but understand they're being colonialized, and need the catelan people's support, so they have agreed on some anti-privatisation measures. 

If need be, the powermongers in Madrid and Brussels will use VIOLENCE and communication control, to keep their grip on the situation.
They'll lose the "everything is fine" extend and pretend game, but violence trumps truth in these matters. They WILL turn off the internet if they have to.

Also, the spanish nationalists are idiots. Waving flags, thinking it's 1978 all over again. They're supporting globalists, who would sell out Spain for a cozy job in Brussels. They'll be stabbed in the back, you can't make deals with neo-liberals.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

All these points are fair.  The same winds are blowing throughout the West.  Whilst the Catalans may not have the backbone/sense of moral authority to act decisivly at the critical moments, some group, somewhere in the West, will.  We've seen the opening moves and countermoves between separatists and the State.  Where will the group of farmers come from that will stand at their own Lexington and Concord and fire the shots heard round the world?

BrownCoat's picture

@ Dutti,

"Some people here are thinking of not buying Catalan goods and services anymore."

And some Spanish probably will boycott. 

I'm just observing this political Chess game. Catalonia should be preparing for their next move. An effective, but difficult to pull off, move would be a general strike when Madrid takes direct control over the provence.

Dutti's picture

General strike is a loose/loose proposition, but I would not be surprised if it happened. There is too much emotion and pride and too little rational thinking.

DescendantofthePatriots's picture

I really wish I were running guns to Catalonia right now... money to be made!

HenryHall's picture

This is where the Second Amendment comes in. Or would come in if it were California rather than Catalonia.

Overflow's picture

Spain did not use violence to stop a ballot.  The very few people hurt ware activists that attacked the police.


Today this guy have been arrested.


Ill ask to you again: What would have happened in your country if hundreds of activists tried to oppose to a COnsttutional COurt resolution? what'd have happened to them if they blocked a "federal police" and juicial commitive, destroy their SUV's, steal weapons and block the agents into the investigated office building? Would they be still alive?

Occident Mortal's picture

That's bullshit, we've all seen videos of the police beating fire crews with nightsticks, dragging young women down staircases by their hair, shooting rubber bullets into crowds.


Spain mad a terrible decision to try and oppress a ballot with violence. It backfired spectacularly with an international outcry, as Rajoy seemed to forget that Social Media even exists.


Don Diego's picture

at the end only one sriously injured with a rubber bullet. I exclude the heart attack injured as this was lilely to happen given the numbers involved: two million people doing an illegal act and 14.000 police. You were safer in that crowd performing an illegal act that on an average weekend in Barcelona. The Spanish police showed admirable restrain the face of full scale rebellion. The videos are nothing compared to the sheer scale of the sedition . No police in the wold would have manage to cause only one seriously injured person (who knows what he did).


Eve the MSM recognizes they were fooled:

take a few friends and perform an illegal act in your city, let us know how nice was your local police putting down your rebellion.

Reptil's picture

Everyone with two braincells to rub together knows that The Guardian is a globalist mouthpiece, they have some good reporting, still, but a "mea culpa" op-ed is not proof of anything, but more media psyop bullshit.


Yes, the Guardia Civil, and spanish government control didn't go completely apeshit and started shooting lead bullets, but they DID use violence, to try to disrupt this referendum.
They will however, if they see no other way to stop this. Of course it's a rebellion, but a peaceful one. If the gov. in Madrid aren't neo-liberal (fascist) cunts they'll handle this in another way. I'm afraid tanks will roll over the Ramblas soon. 

What the point of the EU is; to DISSOLVE nations into a sort of EU technocratic empire. I take it you're a spanish nationalist. That's fine with me, I have friends on "both sides" of this spanish conflict.
But do note, for future reference that the globalists WILL stab the spanish people in the back, when the period of "dissolving" has finished. Then the real intentions will become visible. 

The european dream (of independent, free peoples working together) has been hijacked by corporatist powermongers, who are closet globalists. 
If you have those two braincells, you'll see the future under a technocracy is not very bright. 

BrownCoat's picture

@ Don Diego,

"perform an illegal act in your city, let us know how nice was your local police putting down your rebellion."

It happened in my city. The highway was blocked by BLM. The police did nothing which caused upset motorists to take matters into their own hands. According to one city official, the reason the police did nothing was (1) they were greatly outnumbered and (2) some protesters were openly carrying handguns (also illegal).  It is assumed that later the police arrested some people based on photos. (Doubleful IMO, but maybe they got one or two.) The motorists were punished for overreacting when IMO the police were at fault for not keeping order.

BTW, no one went to hospital.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Self-determination and the liberty that comes with it is only illegal when you living under tyranny.

Lore's picture

@ Don Diego:  So the images of elderly voters betting bashed with batons don't exist because you say so?  Fuck off.

Bemused Observer's picture

If the illegal act was say, rioting, looting, setting stuff on fire, then yeah, the police have no reason to be nice. But we are talking about a VOTE, where people peacefully go to locations and fill out ballots, that get collected and counted. Imagery of the police 'putting down' that rebellion is not a good look for any government.

There is no way to 'put down' a vote without looking like an asshole. Doesn't even matter what the vote is FOR, or if it is right or wrong. The only appropriate response to this vote would have been for Spain to immediately open up dialogue with Catalonia about the issues that were bothering them. Acknowledge their anger, as lots of people are angry today, for many reasons. Let them vent, and then start making small but positive changes...things you can do easily that don't put your national sovereignity at risk. You extend the hand, not the fist. And it would have been a good way to demonstrate to an increasingly lawless world just how civilized persons resolve issues.


Instead, we get video of black-clad thugs with batons, beating civilians trying to vote. Really, really bad optics.

DescendantofthePatriots's picture

I guess you haven't done your research, Don Diego. There is video after video showing fully geared police hitting defenseless, middle aged, unarmed citizens with batons. One particularly disturbing video shows the police hitting a woman in the face with a baton, something US police are trained not to do.


Just so all you fucking Fascist Spanish trolls understand me perfectly: Qué os jodais a vosotros y a vuestros madres tambíen.

bluez's picture

What do you think? Really. What do you think would happen if...

....they decided to hold an independence vote in Washington State, USSA? Hmm?

Every single ballot box would be hauled away in a big black military truck. And every single person present attempting to vote would be carted off too.

The Spanish enforcers were only able to attack a tiny percentage of the voting stations. THIS SHOWS WEAKNESS! They must be too weak to really take over.

(Of course Catalan would still be ruled by the tyrants in Brussels anyway.)

But this pretty much promises to get seriously ugly.

Overflow's picture

I guess you've only seen very short cuts of the footage, selected by the secessionist propaganda.

It's easy to understand, if you want to:


Those who passive-agressively tried to stop police to comply with the court mandate were dragged.

 The courts send the police to close a poll station and seize ballot boxes. The police goes there to comply with the order. You stand in the door. They ask you to clear access and don't disturb court requirement. You stand, insulting the agent.  Then, the police politely drags you out of the place. That's VERY self-contained for a riot police agent, actually, don't you think so?


Those few dozens who attackd Police or violently trid to stop them were bumped with a nightstick beat. 


To raise the "victims" list to that ridiculous 900 they included even the people suffering anxiety while watching images on TV. LOL

Reptil's picture

I don't understand the downvotes on @Occident Mortal's post from a logical POV. 
Seems there's a bunch of falangistas posting here.... :-/

blentus's picture

I'll tell you what would happen.

Just look at Slovenia. They got support from whole fucking Western Europe when they illegaly declared independence.

Eat a dick.

You don't get to choose who gets to declare independence and who doesn't get, when it suits you or when it doesn't.

I am rooting for Catalonia, just because you fucks decided to support illegal secesions quite few times before.

Sylvan's picture

In ex Yugoslav constitution (SFRJ Socialist Federal Republic of Jugoslavija) from 1974 there was written right for selfdetermintion of nations - so our referendum was constitutional and legal. Reaction was a 'ten days war'. The rest is history.

Ghordius's picture

"Just look at Slovenia. They got support from whole fucking Western Europe when they illegaly declared independence"

this ridiculous lie does not get better or true by endless repetition

when Yugoslavia started to break down, "the whole fucking Western Europe" spent a whole lot of time bickering about what to do

Genscher, the German Foreign minister, did not want to go alone with such a decision. Mitterand, the French President, kept for a long time the line that perhaps the unity of Yugoslavia could be preserved. it took the "Badinter Commission" to push it, by declaring that it was a case of disintegration, in their view. and formal recognition was even later, and admission to the UN much later

do a timeline of that civil war and you'll note those details


"poor, bad, surrender"

I think you area miserable swindler who tries keep things hidden under the bed. The conflict is mostly about money because Catalona is a rich state and Spain not so much.

Do you know why? Because the Catalonia sucked all money out of Spain, they used Spanish people as a horse and shield to gather tons of money and now their greedy Catalonain leaders walk down the street with fascist muslims and nazis screaming:

"we don't need Spain nor Europe - we just want more EU money without paying taxes and therefore we declare independence"


Spain need to replace that people.

Occident Mortal's picture

I'm not hiding anything. I'm looking in from the outside.

How did Catalonia suck all the money out of Spain? This sounds like heresay, or jealousy.

Spain is a dump, unemployment is about 20%, if I was any Spanish region I would want self rule too.

Sirius Wonderblast's picture

Spain is nt a dump, it is a fabulous country. It has been hugley blighted though by the rapacity of bankers enabled and assisted by their bestest buddies the politicians.

BTW, if anyone can tell me how Spain's biggest bank and biggest lender, Santander, contends it missed out on being hit by the Spanish property crash I'd love to understand that one.

greenspanator's picture

No, it is completely the opposite, they are trying to destroy somebody else's identity. If they were asserting their own identity, they would not be so extremely pro-grlobalism, pro-refugees, pro-immigrants and pro-modernism. Catalan indepdentism is a leftist movement and is supported by Antifa. The moment they meet their goal, i.e., destroy Spain, they will start throwing ethnic Catalans  in jail under hate laws if they complain about immigration. Not that this does not happen in Spain (it is being forced upon the whole West), but a Republic of Catalonia would be under direct (not indirect) control of Globalism/Freemasonry.

You will find proof of these statements in the links provided in this very comment section, especially by Don Diego.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Destroying European harmony!? That sounds excellent.  Maybe I should send them a donation? 

Don Diego's picture

LOLZ, yes please make the check payable to the father of modern Catalan independentsm: Jordi Pujol. Molt Honorable senyor Pujol will in turn send your check to the appropriate service.

Since you are in Germany, for the cost of a Ryanair flight you can also support the struggle. Not every day one can become a bona fide revolutionary hero.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

All the Catalonian government needs to do is hold a press conference that they are going to collapse the Spanish banking system and he recommends everyone in Spain get their money out of the banks as soon as they can and he immeately suspends any and all Catalonian sovereign debt payments.  Due to Spanish "muni" insolvency law, they all get rebooked as sovereign Spanish liabilities. 

God I love finance. 

Don Diego's picture

if you work in finance you should know that if a big Spanish bank collapses is the collapse of the eurozone. If the Catalibans do as you say (the won't) then expect any minute the landing of the fallschirmjäger at Barcelona.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Yes, that would be ideal. 

quadraspleen's picture

"destroy the European harmony."


Joke, right?

BarkingCat's picture

I think you need a lesson in European history.

Hell, a lesson on Spanish would be appropriate.

shovelhead's picture

Ask Greece about that European Harmony thing.

Lore's picture

@ EEEEEEEEEE Member 20 weeks 3 days): 

Fuck off, plant.


Catalonia's independence movement is a terrorist act. The leaders and their followers need to be arrested and and put to trail publicly.

By definition it's a nationalist nazi movement!!!




Occident Mortal's picture

Keep your hair on.

As far as I can see they haven't created any external bogeymen to rail against, they are trying to assert their own identity not destroy somebody elses.


I don't really see a problem, I think Spain have handled the whole thing extremely badly.

Using violence to defame a ballot was always going to backfire spectacularly.


Likewise Catalan had their moment with which to jump into the arms of the rest of the world, whilst the world was sympathetic but they bottled it. Now it will never happen, Catalan surrendered the moment to their rivals who have now regrouped and are moving swiftly to quell the whole movement.


In matters like this you cannot pause or blink, any attempt at secesation or independence by any group must be an uninterrupted non negotiatble charge at the door.

BobEore's picture

thank you.
Till this moment, I could not be totally SURE that what I was seeing en Espana
was a repeat of the formula

that the islamo-fascists used here in Anatolia, to repress the will of it's own people, use the state apparatus to set ethnic and religious members of it's own community against each other...

to malign the members of its' own representative parliament who were not aligned with jihadist politics, prior to throwing them in jail... without trial,,,removing the ELECTED mayors of 5 major southern cities from office by decree

shutting down the free press, and substituting rule by central government decree, then complaining it was all due to a 'plot' by outsiders and heretic malcontents.

You've removed my doubts.... y sin duda... tu... y tus hijos chingastres francoistas ni tengan puta ni idea...

of what pandoras boxes ye have opened, by refusing the counsel of history and the wisdom of dialogue.

A las Barricadas companeros!

Dutti's picture

I mostly agree with you about current Turkish politics.

Too bad Atatuerk is not there to right the ship. 

However, to compare this situation to Spain is a travesty. I understand you are a well educated marxist sympathizer, but most Turks and Spaniards are not.

BobEore's picture

and thank you too....

for openly displaying the COMPLETE ... AND COMIC ignorance...
not just of my own politics - TOTALLY ANTITHETICAL TO 'marxist' OR any other variation of statist ideology...


nor of spain, since you are so light on history of that place, and of the fact that catalonia has a rich tradition of anti-statist, anti-marxist revolutionary politics that is one of the primary forces behind current developments.

Anything else to get wrong genius/or are you done publicly humiliating yourself and your clique of merikan exceptionalist masters of the universe here?

I never finished high school by the way... so I doubt I'm nearly as OVER educated as white trash like yuself.

Dutti's picture

Well, I guess it's important for you to point out that you are an anarchist and not a marxist.

To me, both are misguided fanatasies. 

I have lived in Turkey for several months a few years ago and again, most of the Turkish people are neither marxist nor anarchist.

Unfortuntely, only a "strong man" like Atatuerk, Erdogan or Franco can usually deal effectively with the chaos spread by Anarchists/Marxists. To make it clear, I don't equate any of the obove mentionned to each other - the only thing they had/have in common is that they are strong leaders.

Strong leaders usually come into power because the population is tired of how a country has been led before.