Catalonia crisis as it happened: Spain's PM sacks parliament and calls new elections in wake of independence vote

All the updates as the crisis unfolded

Chris Stevenson
Barcelona
,Alasdair Fotheringham
Friday 27 October 2017 14:38
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Celebrations as Catalan parliament votes in favour of independence

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has imposed direct rule on Catalonia after the region declared independence. Mr Rajoy has fired the Catalonia government, dissolved parliament and call new elections for the area that will take place on 21 December.

The vote in the regional parliament followed a tense week of last-ditch negotiations between Madrid and Barcelona.

Mr Rajoy said "we never wanted to come to this point", adding that his aim is "to return [Catalonia] to normality and legality as soon as possible".

The latest move will not be greeted well by many in Catalonia, with thousands out on the streets celebrating the declaration of independence.

To read Friday's updates as they came in, check our liveblog below:

The EU has called for calm after violence marred the day of the vote at the beginning of October. The Spanish government faced a barrage of criticism over the force it used.

Seventy Catalan deputies voted for independence, with 10 opposed and two blank ballot slips.

Rounds of applause broke out in the chamber as members of the parliament hugged and shook hands.

Opposition MPs had walked out of the chamber ahead of Friday's vote in protest.

On Thursday Catalan president Carles Puigdemont had ruled out calling a snap election, thought to have been a potential way of defusing tension with the central government.

Mr Puigdemont said he had not received sufficient guarantees that Madrid would hold off on its attempts to take control of the region.

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