Spain Sacks Catalonia Government, Assumes Control

The Guardian reports:

Madrid has taken direct control of Catalonia for the first time in nearly four decades, firing the regional government and dismissing the head of the local police force, after the Catalan parliament made a unilateral declaration of independence.

Carles Puigdemont and his cabinet were formally removed from their posts, and their powers and responsibilities taken over by central government in notices posted to the official state bulletin on Saturday morning.

The orders provided an outline for a takeover approved by the Spanish senate on Friday, but Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s prime minister, now faces the challenge of implementing them. The Catalan government has not yet responded, but the president, his allies and supporters are widely expected to defy the orders to leave their posts.

A 10-day general strike has already been called by one of Catalonia’s biggest unions in support of the new republic of Catalonia, starting on Monday. Some of the region’s 200,000 civil servants have already said they will not accept orders from Madrid.

The Independent reports:

Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has called on Catalans to peacefully oppose Spain’s formal takeover of the region’s affairs.

In a televised address on Saturday, the separatist leader said Madrid’s decision to suspend the autonomy of the province and appoint the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister as its provisionary head goes against the will of the people.

Although Mr Puigdemont and the 12 members of the Catalan Cabinet will now no longer be paid and could be charged with usurping others’ functions if they refuse to obey Madrid, there was no immediate sign that they were willing to comply.

  • PopstarPecker

    Hmm. Does this mean perhaps the parlliment will be heading into exile? Wouldn’t that make more sense than certain arrest/detainment?

  • bkmn

    Just like here in the US, it will get messier before it gets better.

  • Gustav2

    OT is is snowing in Columbus OH

    • David Walker

      Oh, fuck. That sure made my day. And that storm is coming our way soon.

      • Gustav2

        I think I can dig up the calla lilies and cannas now.

    • Michael White

      Oh good, it passed us by in South Bend, IN the “lake effect” belt

      • Gustav2

        Light flurries and not ‘sticking.’

      • 2guysnamedjoe

        Say hi to Mayor Pete.

    • Treant

      It’s 63 degrees here right now and I went to the grocery store at 6 AM wearing a sweater, but not wearing a coat.

      • PopstarPecker

        34F here and windy. A few flakes in the air here and ther as well.

      • zhera

        WTH are you doing up so early on a Saturday?

        • Gustav2

          He is making us Brunch!

          • zhera

            I don’t really get to complain. My sleep pattern is non-existing, and I’m up at all sorts of times, all the time. 😛

          • shellback

            Me too. I have cats.

        • Treant

          Shopping. Then I made laundry soap. Now I’m about ready for a nap; I have a bit of a cold.

      • Menergy

        29F feeling like 25F here in Sunny Santa Fe NM…..brrrrr

    • BearEyes

      67 and sunny in Ptown now

    • KarenAtFOH

      Sixty something down here in SWFL, and another Tropical Storm expected tomorrow.

  • Natty Enquirer

    Why is Chambers showing the UK in the “Yes” column? The government has said it does not recognize Catalan independence.

    • Gustav2

      That’s what I thought.

      • Natty Enquirer

        Guess you can’t believe everything you read on Twitter.

        • Gustav2


        • David Walker

          Oh, no! First Gustav2 tells us it’s snowing in Columbus and now you pop this “you can’t believe everything you read on Twitter” bombshell. I’m going back to bed.

          • zhera

            It’s a cruel world, David!

    • JoeMyGod

      Embedding that tweet altered the columns. If you view it on Twitter, all the countries listed are under “NO”….

  • gaycuckhubby

    I see joe is up early and working hard after bear disco 🙂
    Thank u for your service, Sir

  • another_steve

    Californians reading here: If you do in fact decide to secede from the United States, please give the rest of us a week’s notice.

    I have family in Studio City I’d like to visit, and would prefer not to have to get a passport to do so.

    • SoCalGal20

      Depending on which state you live in you may have to do that now (or soon) if your state ID isn’t recognized as valid ID TSA.

  • Michael R
  • SoCalGal20
    • Sam_Handwitch

      the Saturday night covfefe!?!?

      • Gerry Fisher

        I hear that’s quite the hootenanny!

    • another_steve

      I think Trump’s window of opportunity for ordering Mueller fired has closed. To do so days before the first of the indictments comes down would constitute 100 percent obvious obstruction of justice.

      I don’t think that even Trump would go there.

      • Hank

        Herr Drumpf could not care less, what he sets off, as long as HE is in the news, no matter what any of his lawyers have to say. SAD!!!

      • BearEyes

        He’ll go there and lower the bar

        • KarenAtFOH

          Bring it. Bye bye, GOP.

      • greenmanTN

        He could go there because he has no limits. But I don’t think even the craven Congress would stand for it at this point. He no longer has the political capital to pull it off.

        • 2guysnamedjoe

          The craven Congress has stood for every other drümpf outrage so far, and they’ll continue to do so.

          • greenmanTN

            Their primary interest is staying where they are and continuing to suck on the public teat while bitching about everyone else who does so. They are only behind Trump so long as it doesn’t threaten themselves, and I think we’ve gone beyond the point where propping up Trump is a good strategy for re-election.

          • Uncle Mark

            Old Guard GOP are between a rock and a hard place. Twittler’s ally, Bannon, is seeking to replace them in costly primarying efforts. Yet if they support the trials against the Fucking Moron’s regime, the trials thoughout 2018 will tar the GOP as well during midterms.

            It’s almost as if the GOP made a wish on an evil shitgibbon’s/monkey’s paw to keep Congress in 2016 and put a “Republican” in the White House…and now come the tragic unforeseen consequences of that wish.

          • greenmanTN

            The Monkey’s Paw is a great way to describe it. Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

          • Kenster999

            I bet they’re hoping they have one wish left so they can wish away the terror banging at their door.

          • bambinoitaliano

            I would have to agree but the few GOP who decided not to seek reelection seems to indicate the rats are jumping off the Titanic.

        • another_steve

          Good point.

          Unless they’ve gone 100 percent criminal, not even the Republicans in Congress would stand for Mueller being fired at this point.

          • edrex

            i’m more cynical.

    • Natty Enquirer

      I think it’s more about summer vacations and the baseball schedule than anything else.

  • blackstar
  • Lazycrockett
  • Michael R
  • Sam_Handwitch

    coming up on Fox News, a 48 hour marathon documentary:

    Benghazi, Seth Rich and The War on Christmas: Connecting the Dots

    • Silver Badger

      How’s your olive doing? It was mentioned earlier that you were having work done on it.

      • Sam_Handwitch

        a little sore from the pimento re-stuffing, but recovering well

  • Michael R
    • bambinoitaliano

      No he is busy with his lawyers and his aide asking how fast and how many pardons he can issue before he is hauled off to jail.

    • Uncle Mark

      What a coincidence. We also have to hear a liar the whole time, while the country burns.

  • fkevin

    Psst, Puwigdemont. Just get some nukes. Kim has some fresh new ones he can sell you. Putin won’t care, and he might finance them. May’s too busy falling, Macron will talk, talk, talk, and Merkel will just give stern looks. Donald? I’ve already told you about Putin.

  • vincent

    Shopping. Then I made laundry soap. Now I’m about ready for a nap; I have a bit of a cold.

  • billbear1961

    FUCK you, Rajoy, for deliberately provoking the Catalans, you evil, fascist, interfering POS, you snivelling, conniving, bullying weakling!

    Will you send more jackbooted Spanish cops to beat peaceful Catalans, you contemptible, goddamned BASTARD?!

    Long live Nicola Sturgeon! Thank you for sticking up for a distinct people’s RIGHT to self-determination, a distinct people, with their own language and culture who have inhabited their own territory for centuries, a distinct people like the Scots!!


    The Spanish BRUTES can do NOTHING if enough of you passively refuse to cooperate!

    I hope you will vote overwhelmingly for representatives who fully support your RIGHT to self-determination!!

    Autonomous government of Catalonia, elected by the FREE people of Catalonia, remain at your posts!!

    • PopstarPecker
      • Bill Davis

        Yay, Popstar Picky!


        Please forgive my other identity–I’m posting on Political Wire, and it can take FOREVER to get signed in as Bill Davis on Disqus. (My bear is banned there, for “raving like a crazed drunk” against GOP fascists!)

    • GanymedeRenard

      Come on, Mr. Bear! I know you to be a much better analyst than this. In fact, you’re one of the commenters that I most respect on this blog; and I think that, without your input and your wondrous music selections, this forum wouldn’t be the same.

      However, on this particular issue, things are not as black and white as you appear to believe. I understand your passion due to your Québéquois ties, and even though I can see the similarities, the cases are definitely not the same. You seem to be romanticizing a struggle for freedom that simply isn’t shared by the majority of Catalans.

      Rajoy’s government is DETESTABLE on oh so many fronts, but in this concrete case he was acting strictly in accordance with the Spanish law. Just how do you think the French government would react if Brittany (a Celtic-speaking region with its own territory for centuries) decided to unilaterally and illegally declare its independence from France? What about the government in London if THE SAME happened in Scotland? I’m almost certain that they too would send forward their police forces to restore the constitutional order – not excluding the possibility of using violence.

      Behind many of these secessionist movements in Europe rests an extreme-right, xenophobic, and almost racist ideology that is incompatible with the Western values of cosmopolitism, tolerance, and solidarity.

      Some years ago, in Sitges – a beach town near Barcelona, famous for its lively gay and cultural life – I read a signed that said, “ni França ni Espanya. Països Catalans!” (neither France nor Spain. Catalan Countries!). Their nationalist ideology was/is based on the supposed “purity” of the Catalan language and culture – a myth, of course. And by “Catalan Countries” they meant a zone that would comprise the Rousillon (France), the principality of Andorra, Catalonia, the Valencian Country, and the Balearic Islands.

      It’s a populist ideology not very different from the Southern, white supremacist legacy narrative in the USA. What’s more: In their imagined pan-Catalan paradise, the use of Spanish/Castilian would be banned from the public sphere, rendering the newly created republic effectively monolingual. Isn’t this the case with some backward States that apply an English-only policy?

      I’m sure you know that the majority of Catalans recognize a double identity of being Spanish without erasing its Catalan heritage. And by saying “Spanish BRUTES” you’re insulting them. Instead, it would be more precise to make reference to the national government in Madrid, which is currently run by the corrupt, inept, and fascist Rajoy. FUCK HIM!

      But let’s be clear here – Catalonia is already autonomous, and very much so. And the secessionists will obviously accept nothing but secession. The demagogue Puigdemont (FUCK HIM, TOO!) and his minions know this, and have instigated this sentiment by appealing to a horrible “oppression” that just didn’t exist prior to this crisis.

      What the idiots in Barcelona did was nothing short of a suicidal move. The Catalan people they purport to represent will now be excluded from every international organization, every international forum… They will be excluded from both the European Union and the eurozone. They will have no passports to travel outside their own republic because Europe will not (or maybe only Russia) recognize their sovereignty. In other words, they will be trapped in their new territory. Ah, but they will be free! / s

      I think you mean “visca Catalunya”, ‘visca’ being the subjunctive mode in Catalan, not the Latin ‘vivat’.

      Last but not least, Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia – countries that have welcomed a great influx of Catalan immigration since, like, forever – have all expressed that they recognize a UNIFIED Spain, so does Trudeau in Canada. So does every respectable democracy.

      • MikeSEA

        Very good post; very thorough and well written.

        I find The ethnocentric nature of the Catalan independence movement very troubling. Often, Catalans say that they need their own country because they are ‘different’. Read ‘better’ here. This a dangerous mentality, and honestly, a dead end street. It’s amazing how many on the left are supportive of this garbage.

        Their claims of suffering under the Spanish state are absurd, and a complete insult to anyone who has ever lived under true tyranny. Frankly, they should be ashamed of this. (Sure, Rajoy BOTCHED the 1-O response, but this happened once, and I don’t think they would make this mistake again.)

        I was last there in August. This issue was heating up, and I talked about it a lot. No one can tell a compelling story of how they are oppressed today. In these conversation, it so often comes back to the money that Madrid is ‘stealing’ from them. If an independent Catalonia ever WERE admitted to the EU (not a chance in the near future), I can only imagine the howls of protest about how people from Poland and Slovakia are robbing the hard working people of Catalonia blind. News flash: these transfers happen to any rich region, and are a core part of social solidarity. This makes them seem petty, greedy and selfish, not a good look.

        I’ve visited many times, and I truly love the place and the people. But, this movement is starting to hurt the region. Catalonia always felt multi-cultural and relaxed. This is at risk, as these nationalist idiots have blown up their package of ‘grievances’ into a nasty, divisive issue that has split Catalan society.

        I hope sanity, decency and common sense return, and that the region heals these divisions. With as many problems the world has right now, I can only shake my head at why this madness is happening in a place that is peaceful and prosperous.

        • GanymedeRenard

          Thank you.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada


    …and that’s not a good thing.

  • aagold76 .

    important story- but what’s gay about it???? Are they striving 4 independence to pass or repeal gay rights????

    • Dazzer

      Actually, there is a gay aspect to this in terms of some of the political parties supporting independence. One is pro gay rights, another is exceedingly anti. However, those kind of stories won’t emerge until the wider issue of independence is dealt with first.

    • zhera

      Many stories here are about other things than gay rights. I don’t see why Joe should have to limit his posts to one narrow category; it’s his blog.

      • Lars Littlefield

        I agree, but more and more I find myself going to other LGBT news aggregate sites to get current news about what is happening to us around the world.

    • pleasebereasonable1

      Spanish guys are H.O.T. That makes it gay in my book….

    • GanymedeRenard

      What percentage of exclusively or relatively LGBT-themed stories do we read on JMG since the election of this baboon? Exactly. As zhera pointed out below, it’s Joe’s blog, and he decides what contents he will include throughout the day.

  • An illegal vote for independence, with only 70/135 voting for it and doing so with secret ballots.

    It’s not surprised that Spain sacked the regional gov’t. I just hope Spain actually acts with restraint this time instead of acting like a bunch of brutal thugs.

    • GanymedeRenard

      I think, however, that it is important to make a distinction between Spain and the central government in Madrid, currently run by the right-wing.

    • leastyebejudged

      “illegal vote for Independence”

      Note how eager Spain is to even allow the people there to vote on the issue at all !

      I support you and yours right to euthanasia.

  • DanimalChgo

    Because the thing we need to make sure this decade is a complete rerun of the 1930s is a civil war in Spain.

  • Hue-Man

    Even if the conflict is resolved peacefully, it will take a long time to recover.

    Over 1,501 companies have left Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia amid fears of the region’s independence from Spain, local media reported recently, citing sources from the College of Mercantile Registers of Spain.

    • MikeSEA

      Indeed. This seems a bit similar to what happened in Quebec after the first referendum (which lost.) Some businesses got nervous and left. Many anglos felt unwelcome and left. The economy felt this for a long time. In the end, a lot of people lost, and for what?

  • rednekokie

    So — just how is Spain going to implement this? By sending in the army and putting the entire Catalonian state under martial law? Hmmmm. Veddy Intellestinct!

    • GanymedeRenard

      Likely so. Things will get nasty before they get better, I’m afraid.

    • Reality.Bites

      Will martial law become known as being in a Catalonic state?

      • rednekokie

        Works for me!

  • JCF
  • GanymedeRenard

    So a group of troublemaking populists violate the legitimate Spanish Constitution, thus breaking the rule of law; they don’t give a flying fuck about judicial decisions from the central government; they approve two secession bills and an illegal referendum; they prevent the opposition from presenting amendments to said bills; they violate their own Parliament’s rules so they can modify the order of the sessions and sneak the most important parliamentary discussions through the back door; call for a referendum without a census, complete with ballot boxes on the streets and the possibility of voting 4 or 5 times without any control whatsoever, or external, independent observation; switch that same day to universal college in contravention of their own law; write a resolution of independence on the same morning that they impose their vote, preventing the introduction of amendments and their corresponding debate; they act like a secret coven with half of the hemicycle being present…

    Magnificent! A banana republic, and excuse the un-PC expression, seated on an intellectual dunghill and an ideological rubbish dump, in which a populace, docilely indoctrinated with goebbelsian methods, wish to live under a totalitarian regime that does not respect its own laws. Since no nation will immediately recognize the new republic, even if they make their own passports, they won’t be able to travel abroad. No national army and no national currency. Which was once a thriving economy will now become but that of a pre-industrial times. Excuse me if I’m being pessimistic, but how is all of this a good thing?

  • Kenster999

    This is obviously a complicated situation. I really like Barcelona and Catalonia, and wish them (and everyone! aww!) well. But what I have a hard time getting past is that, as I understand it, both Catalonia and all of Spain voted on a referendum a while ago (1990s?) which decided that Catalonia would be part of Spain *forever*, along with granting many autonomy rights to the region. There could be no further referenda to change the status. Yet now they unilaterally decide to hold another referendum, and unilaterally decide that it’s binding.

    I really don’t know too many details, and I’m sure the Catalonians have legitimate grievances. And the Spanish government was cruel — and stupid! — to use force during the referendum. But these actions makes it look like the people of that region don’t keep their word. Aside from being morally wrong, it’s also foolish. What country would enter into a trade agreement with the new country of Catalonia, now seeing that they apparently reserve the right to unilaterally change their mind at any point they desire?

  • Nunya D. Bidness

    Watch Winter On Fire, on Netflix.

  • Ann Kah

    Did Putin and the Seven (thousand) Trolls have anything to do with this whole separation business? I’m becoming increasingly suspicious of disruptive actions around the world, and wonder if the Russians are just practicing their disinformation skills.

    • MikeSEA

      Yup. They even sent an envoy from South Ossetia (a break-away region of the Republic of Georgia that only a few countries recognize) for a visit. I wouldn’t be surprised if some generous offers from Moscow were passed along to the fools running the (now sacked) regional government.

      This would weaken the EU, a BIG PLUS for Vlad. Amazing how much toxic garbage comes out of that country right now. The world needs to be very careful, as we in the US all saw in November 2016.

  • leastyebejudged

    If I wasn’t for their independence before, I would want to separate from Spain now.