Spain’s control over Catalonia will be tested on Monday when politicians and civil servants return to work amid uncertainty over whether they will accept direct rule imposed by the central government to stop the region’s independence bid.
Hundreds of thousands of supporters of a unified Spain filled Barcelona’s streets on Sunday in one of the biggest shows of force yet by the so-called silent majority that has watched as regional political leaders push for Catalan independence.
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy assumed direct control of the region on Friday. He sacked its secessionist government and called a snap election for Dec. 21.
|Spain's control over Catalonia to be tested on Monday as work resumes.
However, some of the most prominent members of the Catalan administration, including its president Carles Puigdemont and vice-president Oriol Junqueras, said they did not accept the move and only the people of Catalonia could dismiss them.
The main civic group behind the pro-independence campaign have called for widespread civil disobedience and have given detailed instructions to the around 200,000 civil servants working for the Catalan region of how they should behave.
Most of them start their working day at 9 a.m. (0800 GMT) and, if too many did not turn up or decided not to accept instructions, it would cast important doubts over the Spanish government’s strategy to draw a line under a one-month crisis that has dented economic growth and fueled social unrest.
It is also not clear if senior government officials and lawmakers who declared the region’s independence from Spain on Friday would try to gain access to their offices and if the Catalan police Mossos d‘Esquadra would prevent them.Reuters