A crowd waves Catalan independence flags on Thursday. Photo: Santi Palacios / AP
Catalonia's president, Carles Puigdemont, announced today that he'd let the region's parliament decide on a declaration of independence from Spain, capping off a wild day of policy reversals, per the NYT. Earlier, Puigdemont was expected to announce that he'd call an early election in the region to avoid Spain's threatened takeover of Catalonia's government under the Spanish constitution — but, without any guarantees from the Spanish government and facing rebellion from his separatist allies at home, he instead decided to leave a decision on independence to his parliament.
What's next: The Catalan parliament — with its razor-thin majority of separatist parties — is expected to vote on independence at some time tomorrow just as Madrid takes its own vote on taking over Catalonia's government. After that, the situation heads into entirely uncharted waters.