Catalan Separatists Plan Human Shield, “Civil Disobedience” To Block Spanish Takeover
This article comes from ZeroHedge.com
If Spain hoped that Catalonia would willingly and cheerfully hand over control over the separatist region to Madrid after Rajoy announced on Saturday that the Spanish government will fire Catalan leaders and force new elections in 6 months, he may be disappointed. According to Bloomberg, Catalan separatists are “mobilizing a human shield” to block efforts by Spanish authorities to take control of the breakaway region as both sides prepare to escalate the political conflict beyond what may soon be a point of no return.
The dramatic Catalan action is in response to Rajoy’s shocing announcement on Saturday, when he disclosed plans to clear out the entire separatist administration in Barcelona and take control of key institutions including public media and the regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra. Spain’s chief prosecutor said that if Puigdemont declares independence he would face as much as 30 years in jail and signaled that he could be arrested immediately.
“We are calling for a peaceful and democratic defense of the institutions,” Lluis Corominas, the leader of the main separatist group in the Catalan Parliament, said at a press conference in Barcelona.
According to two sources quoted by Bloomberg, groups of Catalan separatists will concentrate their activists around the regional government’s headquarters in Barcelona’s Gothic quarter and the nearby parliament building. “They expect Spanish police to use force to try to shut down the administration and will put their bodies on the line” the sources added.
Following weeks of escalating tensions between Madrid and Barcelona, this is shaping up as a critical week for political brinkmanship:
the Catalan leadership was left to plot its next move following Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s declaration of unprecedented measures to reassert his authority. The rebels in Barcelona are running out of options while Madrid attempts to bring an end to the country’s most dramatic political crisis for four decades.
The showdown may come at the end of the week. Regional President Carles Puigdemont, who accused Rajoy of a “coup d’etat,” is set to be ousted by the Spanish government and his allies are signaling he could declare independence. The legislature in Barcelona, which is controlled by separatist parties, will convene on Thursday and Friday just as Rajoy is expected to win approval from the Senate for his crackdown.