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Spain takes direct control of Catalonia

Spain on Saturday moved to seize direct control of Catalonia, sacking its police chief a day after the Catalan regional parliament’s independence declaration sent shock waves through Europe.

The firing of Josep Lluis Trapero, the highest-ranking officer of the Mossos d’Esquadra regional police, follows Friday’s dismissal of Catalonia’s president, his deputy, all ministers, and the entire parliament.

Moving to quash what he termed an “escalation of disobedience”, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called December 21 elections in the region under sweeping powers granted by the Senate in response to Catalan lawmakers voting to declare an independent republic, reports AFP. The dismissal of Trapero, seen as an ally of his region’s separatist leaders, was announced in Saturday’s official government gazette.

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