Mariano Rajoy

Spanish leader moves aggressively to clip Catalonia's wings

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy left the nation breathless when he announced the steps he wants to take to crush the separatist movement in the prosperous Catalonia region.

Rajoy called on Spain's Senate on Saturday to trigger a previously untapped section of the constitution that allows the central government to temporarily intervene in the running of a region if its leaders have broken the law.

Activating the constitutional authority granted by Article 155 is Madrid's boldest response so far to avowals from Catalonia's leaders to declare independence based on an Oct. 1 referendum that a court has judged as illegal.

There are some of the regional powers Rajoy is...

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