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A pro-unity rally marches through Barcelona, Spain, on October 8, 2017, in response to last Sunday’s disputed referendum on Catalan independence.
The Spanish government has agreed with the opposition Socialists (PSOE) to hold regional elections in January in Catalonia as part of the extraordinary package of measures to temporarily impose direct rule on the region, Socialist politician Carmen Calvo said in an interview on national television on Friday.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will hold a special cabinet meeting on Saturday to put in motion the process to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy after regional leader Carles Puigdemont refused to drop his secession campaign.
Meanwhile, Spain’s upper house Senate could vote on measures to impose direct rule on Catalonia, revoking the wealthy region’s autonomy in response to a secession bid, as soon as the end of next week, a spokeswoman said on Friday.
The Senate must create a committee to debate the measures, which have never been used before. The committee will probably meet on Oct. 23, the spokeswoman said.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont will then be given an opportunity to reply. The entire upper house, where the ruling People’s Party holds a majority, will then vote on the measures as soon as Oct. 27.