BARCELONA, Spain – The Latest on the independence demands in Spain's northeast region of Catalonia(all times local):
Opponents of independence for Catalonia are holding a rally in the Spanish capital of Madrid. Thousands of people have turned out in the Plaza de Colon, many waving Spanish flags or wearing them around their shoulders.
The rally comes after one of the country's most tumultuous days in decades.
On Friday, lawmakers in the northeastern region of Catalonia passed a declaration of independence in the regional parliament. Shortly afterward, Spain's Senate gave the central government in Madrid the power to take direct control of the region and fire its separatist government.
Spain fired Catalonia's regional leaders on Saturday morning.
Spain has taken direct control of Catalonia and sacked the region's defiant separatist government by publishing special measures overnight in an official gazette online.
The move early Saturday came after separatist Catalan lawmakers passed a declaration of independence on Friday.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who now replaces Catalan President Carles Puigdemont as the top decision-maker in the northeastern region, has dissolved the regional parliament and called a new regional election on Dec. 21.
Puigdemont and the 12 members of the Catalan Cabinet will no longer be paid and could be charged with usurping others' functions if they refuse to obey.
There was no immediate response from the top Catalan officials. Only the director of the Catalan regional police, who was also fired, issued a statement saying he would comply.