Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy says he is dissolving the Catalan parliament and calling regional elections over its push for independence. The prime minister said the unprecedented imposition of direct rule on Catalonia was essential to "recover normality" in the region. He is also firing Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his cabinet. Earlier, the Catalan parliament unilaterally voted to declare independence. Mr Rajoy made the announcement following a frantic day of developments in the row over Catalan independence.
Spain's Supreme Court says a judge has ordered the release of Catalan parliament speaker after bail has been posted. Carme Forcadell spent the night in jail as part of a rebellion investigation following the parliament's declaration of the region's independence. The court said Friday that bail of 150,000 euros ($175,000) bail had been registered and that a judge has signed a ruling for Forcadell's release. The judge jailed Forcadell and four other parliament members Thursday but set bail after they agreed to either renounce future political activity or do it within the constitutional framework. The judge also set bail for the other four.
The Spanish government has said it would welcome the participation of sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont in new elections. The central government in Madrid has ordered that fresh elections for the regional parliament of Catalonia should take place in December. It stripped Catalonia of its autonomy after the Catalan parliament voted to declare independence. Mr Puigdemont is urging "democratic opposition" to direct rule from Madrid. He condemned the suspension of Catalonia's autonomy and promised to continue to "work to build a free country".