Carles Puigdemont and cabinet formally removed from posts as Mariano Rajoy faces challenge of implementing takeover

Madrid has taken direct control of Catalonia for the first time in nearly four decades, firing the regional government and dismissing the head of the local police force, after the Catalan parliament made a unilateral declaration of independence.

Carles Puigdemont and his cabinet were formally removed from their posts, and their powers and responsibilities taken over by central government in notices posted to the official state bulletin on Saturday morning.

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