The Spanish region of Catalonia is in the grip of a political crisis; here is a timeline of how the situation has escalated over the last past three years, culminating in its declaration of independence.
After a non-binding referendum-style opinion poll the previous year showed high support for independence, Catalan president Artur Mas calls new regional elections as a further test of support.
Separatist parties win a majority in regional elections in Catalonia on a platform of pushing for independence.
Catalonia’s regional parliament votes for a resolution in support of independence, pledging a “disconnection from the Spanish state” in legislation.
Spain’s constitutional court in Madrid strikes down the Catalan parliament’s vote for independence, ruling that the new legislation infringes the national constitution.
Carles Puigdemont takes over as president of the Catalan regional government after an agreement between separatist parties in the regional parliament.
The Catalan government calls an independence referendum for October 2017
7 September 2017
The Spanish constitutional court suspends a referendum law introduced by the Catalan regional government, declaring the upcoming referendum illegal.
15 September 2017
Spanish police seize ballot boxes hidden by the regional government
20 September 2017
Spanish police storm and occupy Catalan government ministries to search for evidence that the Catalan government is breaking the law by trying to hold a referendum. Protesters take to the streets in response
1 October 2017
Thousands of Catalan take to the street to occupy polling stations and keep them open amid police crackdown to supress referendum. 92 per cent of people who vote in the referendum back independence on a 43 per cent turnout.
3 October 2017
Huge protests and a general strike shake Catalonia as King Felipe VI condemns the Catalan government in a strongly-worded television address
11 October 2017
Spanish prime minister Mario Rajoy sets the Catalan government a deadline of 16 October to clarify whether they have declared independence or not, with a further three-day extension to 19 October.
17 October 2017
Spain’s national court orders the imprisonment of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, two leading Catalan separatist politicians.
21 October 2017
Spanish government suspends Catalonia’s autonomy and says it will impose direct rule from next Saturday, 28 October.
26 October 2017
Catalan president of government Carles Puigdemont opts against declaring independence himself and says he will leave the decision to MPs.
27 October 2017
Catalan parliament meets and unilaterally declares independence by 70 votes to 10, in a vote boycotted by the opposition. Later that day, Spain’s senate approves new powers for the Madrid government to impose direct rule on Catalonia by 214 votes to 47.
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