Originally published at newstatesman.com
Catalonia has declared its independence from Spain. Sort of.
Although Catalonian voters backed independence in a referendum (albeit one which the opposition chose to boycott rather than contest) and now the Catalonian legislature has voted to carry that decision through (again, anti-independence legislators chose to shun, rather than vote against the measure), the Spanish constitution renders Spain indivisible. This means no part of Spain can declare its separation from another part.
The central government in Madrid has now triggered Article 155 of the constitution, allowing it to take direct control of the region. The centre-right administration will appoint an interim government with the hope of holding fresh elections which, the Spanish government will hope, will return an anti-independence government in the region.
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