MADRID (Reuters) - Spain could use its constitutional power to suspend Catalan autonomy if the regional parliament declares independence, Justice Minister Rafael Catala said on Monday, following a banned referendum on Sunday.
Under article 155 of the Spanish constitution, the central government can suspend the autonomous powers of the northeastern region.
“The article 155 is there. We will use the entire force of the law. Our obligation is resolve problems and we’ll do it, even though it using certain measures might hurt. But, if someone declares independence, well we’d have to tell them that they can’t,” Catala said during a television interview.
Catalan leaders said late on Sunday that 90 percent of those taking part in the vote, which Madrid said was illegal, wanted independence and that opened the door to a unilateral call for secession from the rest of Spain.
Reporting by Carlos Ruano, writing by Paul Day; Editing by Julien Toyer