Tensions are soaring in the European nation of Spain. On Friday, a region of northeast Spain formally declared its independence from the rest of the country, and shortly afterward, Spain`s government invoked article 155 of its constitution.
What does all this mean?
First, Catalonia, it`s a relatively wealthy region of Spain. On October 1st, it held a controversial vote on whether to remain part of the country.
Catalan officials say 90 percent of voters chose independence, but turnout was a low 43 percent.
Spain`s Supreme Court had called the vote illegal. It sent police to prevent voting in some places. Catalonia blamed the Spanish government and a heavy handed police response for the relatively low voter turnout. But many Catalans did not support the vote or want Catalonia to be independent.
And other European nations also appeared to oppose Catalan independence.
Until now, Catalonia has had its own government. It controlled things like education, health care, the police force in Texas. But it was still official part of Spain.
On Friday, Catalonia`s parliament voted to formally declare independence from Spain and shortly afterward, Spain`s government invoked constitutional article 155, which means it`s formally taken control of Catalonia.
What happens next is anyone`s guess?
Catalonia`s leader, Carlos Puigdemont, has called for Catalans to oppose article 155 and to move forward peacefully. But Spain`s government says Puigdemont is no longer in power.
This issue has deeply divided the nation of Spain and the news outlets where many people get their information had been accused of being biased.