They actually did it:
The Catalan regional parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain, just as the Spanish government appears set to impose direct rule.
The move was backed 70-10 in a ballot boycotted by opposition MPs. […]
In all, the motion declaring independence was approved with 70 in favour, 10 against and two abstentions in the 135-seat chamber.
Immediately afterwards, Mr Rajoy called for all Spaniards to remain calm, promising to “restore legality” to Catalonia.
Spain’s Senate is still to vote on whether for the first time to enact Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, which empowers the government to take “all measures necessary to compel” a region in case of a crisis.
It would enable Madrid to fire Catalan leaders, and take control of the region’s finances, police and public media.
The absolute mad(wo)men. This should prove to be interesting.
UPDATE: Who said that government is inefficient?
Madrid imposes direct rule on Catalonia just 40 minutes after the region FINALLY declared independence as Spanish Prime Minister calls for ‘calm’ amid fears of violence on streets
Spain is on the brink of descending into violence as Catalonia faces being imminently taken over by direct rule after the region’s parliament declared independence.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy began a meeting with his cabinet at 5pm (BST) to discuss exactly how the national government will take control of the region.
During that meeting, article 155 of the country’s constitution will be enacted – meaning the entire Catalan government will be dismissed and replaced by Spanish nominees, the regional police force will come under national control and public broadcasters will start taking their orders from Madrid.
Spain will also take control of the pro-independence Catalan parliament, preventing it from adopting motions that ‘run counter’ to Madrid’s wishes.