‘It’s a coup’: Thousands protest power transfer from Barcelona to Madrid

‘It’s a coup’: Thousands protest power transfer from Barcelona to Madrid

The head of the Catalan parliament, Carme Forcadell, has denounced Madrid’s decision to transfer the powers from the regional authorities to the central government as a “coup” as hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Barcelona in protest.

Earlier, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government wants to dissolve the Catalan parliament and call a snap election to restore order in the region. He also said that the powers of the Catalan government would be temporarily transferred to Madrid, adding that the relevant proposal was already sent to the Senate for approval.

Madrid’s decision provoked a wave of outrage in the secessionist region as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of the regional capital, Barcelona, to voice their discontent with the central government’s move.

Forcadell harshly criticized Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s decision to invoke Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which allows Madrid to intervene and impose direct rule on any of Spain’s seventeen autonomous regions in case they are judged to have violated the law.

She said that the prime minister’s actions amount to a “de facto coup d’état” and strike “a blow to democracy.”

Prime Minister Rajoy wants the parliament of Catalonia to stop being a democratic parliament, and we will not allow this to happen,” Carme Forcadell said in a televised speech, as cited by Reuters.

This is why we want to send to the citizens of this country a message of firmness and hope. We commit today, after the most serious attack against the Catalan institutions since they were restored, to the defence of the sovereignty of the parliament of Catalonia,” she said. 

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