Spain's senate has approved a controversial measure allowing it to seize direct control of its semi-autonomous Catalonia region, after the local parliament in Barcelona holds its own vote approving of a formal declaration of independence. Matthew Larotonda reports.
Catalonia waving goodbye to Spain as its local lawmakers pass a vote to formally declare independence. But how far that goes is very much up in the air. Members of several major Spanish political parties walking out of the chamber in protest ahead of the vote, leaving much of the room empty and the pro-independence crowd in charge. Among those to walk out: The party of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, which controls an absolute majority in Spain's national parliament. The senate in Madrid voting moments later to approve the use of a controversial clause of the country's constitution that allows it seize direct control of the breakaway region. It's called Article 155 and it's never been used before. It means that Catalonia's regional president, Carles Puigdemont, and his lieutenants, will be fired. And new elections held within six months. Madrid could also seize control of the local police, seen here lining up as the situation continues to spiral. Catalonians taking to the streets as they have for weeks, anticipation hanging in the air. If new elections go forward that could upset the balance of power between the political parties. Madrid hoping the independence movement will see big losses that strip it of legitimacy.