Foreign minister says government is trying to reinstate order in Catalonia following unilateral independence referendum

The Spanish government has called on people in Catalonia to respect its decision to strip the Catalan government of its autonomy and impose direct rule from Madrid as it embarks on an unprecedented attempt to prevent the region from seceding.

On Saturday, the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, said he was invoking article 155 of the constitution to “restore the rule of law, coexistence and the economic recovery and to ensure that elections could be held in normal circumstances”.

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