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A last-minute positive development in the Catalan crisis? After very long deliberations, it seems that the Catalan government opts for normal elections and not a declaration of independence. Elections may be held on December 20th and Catalonia’s President Carles Puigdemont is due to appear at a hastily scheduled press conference at 11:30 GMT.  

Update: After initially postponing the presser to 12:30 GMT, it is now suspended. There was no reason given. There are large protests in front of the seat of the Catalan Government, the Generalitat.

Update:  Puigdemont does NOT call elections – crisis worsens

This decision could stop the Spanish government from suspending the autonomy at the last minute. There was speculation about a declaration of independence today. The Spanish Senate is convening today and tomorrow to approve the invoking of Article 155.

The response from the Spanish government is still pending. However, according to La Vanguardia, there have been indirect talks between the Spanish government and the Catalan one, mediated by the President of the Basque Country  Iñigo Urkullu. Also, the head of the Catalan subsidiary of the Socialist Party (PSC), Miquel Iceta, was reportedly involved in the talks.

The radical pro-independence CUP party in Catalonia has expressed its anger at the decision. They complain of being excluded from the late-night meetings, where members of Catalonia’s Elder Statesmen were consulted. There were calls from within the regional government and from outside it to refrain from a unilateral declaration of independence (DUI in Spanish and in Catalan).

It could be positive news for the euro. The euro awaits a bigger event today: the ECB decision, in which they are expected to announce a tapering in the QE program. Preview:  ECB Taper time, but of what type? 3 scenarios