Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has revealed how the government proposes to use article 155 of the Constitution to intervene in Catalonia to curb the regional government's independence drive.
Measures, which first need to be authorised by the Senado (Spain's upper house), include the dismissal of the Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, his deputy and all the regional ministers. Their roles will be taken over by central government ministers.
Rajoy has not dissolved the Catalan Parliament yet, but has given himself the power to do so and set a period of six months for regional elections to be called. However he hopes, he said, that this can be done "as soon as normality has been restored".
While the Catalan Parliament continues to function, Madrid will have the power to veto parliamentary initiatives.
"Self-rule will not be suspended, but the people who have put the Cataln government outside the Constitution will be dismissed," explained Rajoy at the press conference.