Rajoy removes Puigdemont as part of the measures –

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Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy announces tough measures against Catalonia. He announces the removal or cessation of both President Puigdemont and his vice president Junqueras. In addition, the head of the autonomous police is removed as well as Catalonia’s foreign delegations or embassies. The ministers of the Catalan government are also removed from their jobs.

Rajoy announces new elections in Catalonia on December 21st in order to return the autonomy sooner. This is a softer measure. The Catalan parliament has been dissolved. He stresses that this is a sad day.

Will the pro-independence parties participate in these elections? This is an open question.

Rajoy says he wants to return the order to Spain and thanks all the other political forces that were partners in making these decisions.

Earlier in the day, the Catalan parliament declared independence. Immediately, the Spanish Senate invoked Article 155 that allows the suspension of the Catalan autonomy. Rajoy now details the measures.

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