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Spain might seize control of Catalonia's government

A woman wearing a Spanish flag on her shoulders looks at a giant flag of Catalonia in Barcelona. Photo: Santi Palacios / AP

Spain signaled today that it would move to seize control of Catalonia's regional government under a constitutionally allowed process by this weekend, per The Washington Post. The move comes after Catalonia's president essentially refused to respond to a Spanish government demand regarding the region's intentions for its independence.

Why it matters: Tensions between Spain and Catalonia have been running high for months, culminating in a seconds-long Catalonian declaration of independence earlier this month after a contested referendum. Catalonia's president immediately suspended the declaration, hoping to begin negotiations with the Spanish government — but this newest move would be an unprecedented step in a nation where memories of Francisco Franco's dictatorship remain fresh.