KONFRONTASI-Work resumed normally in Catalonia and calm reigned on the streets on Monday despite calls for civil disobedience from secessionist politicians, in early signs the direct rule imposed to stop an independence bid from Spain was taking hold.
Although some public sector workers have yet to tell their new bosses whether they will accept orders, the lack of unrest came as a relief for financial markets, which rose.
Catalonia, a prosperous region with its own language and culture, triggered Spain’s biggest crisis for decades by holding an independence referendum on Oct. 1, which Spanish courts called illegal.
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy assumed direct control of the region on Friday, sacked its secessionist government and called a snap election for Dec. 21.
However, some of the most prominent members of the Catalan administration, including its president, Carles Puigdemont, and vice-president, Oriol Junqueras, had said they would not accept the move and only the people of Catalonia could dismiss them.
Spain’s state prosecutor on Monday called for rebellion and sedition charges to be brought against Catalonia’s leaders over their push to separate from Spain. Attorney-General Jose Manuel Maza also called for charges of misuse of funds to be laid.
Under Spain’s legal system, the request goes to a judge for consideration. Maza asked the judge to call the secessionist leaders to testify.
The main civic groups behind the pro-independence campaign had called for widespread civil disobedience, and said that public sector workers such as teachers, firefighters and the police should refuse orders from the central authorities.
But most workers started their working day at 9 a.m. (0800 GMT) as normal and there was no sign of widespread absenteeism.
Most sacked Catalan leaders remained ambiguous on Monday and stopped short of directly defying Spain’s authority. There were no signs of any spontaneous demonstration taking place.
Puigdemont posted a picture on Instagram taken in the regional government headquarters, but was not seen entering, suggesting the photo may have been taken by someone else.
Regional transport chief Josep Rull posted on Twitter a picture of him working in his office but he was later seen leaving the building. Spain’s transport minister had said in a radio interview Rull would be allowed to collect his personal belongings but not work there.
When he left, Rull said he would now attend a meeting of his PdeCat party (Catalan Democratic Party).
“Let’s go on with the scheduled agenda,” he said.