Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called on senators to approve direct rule over Catalonia, amid an escalating crisis over the region’s push for independence.
He said he wanted to dismiss Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, his vice-president and all regional ministers.
Mr Rajoy’s speech was met with applause in the Spanish senate, where his Partido Popular has a majority.
Earlier this month Catalonia held a disputed referendum on the issue.
Mr Rajoy said he was calling for exceptional measures because there was no other choice and said “law, democracy and stability” needed to be returned to Catalonia.
He accused the Catalan government of dividing families and fracturing society. Many people had already suffered too much, he said, and the uncertainty was driving businesses out of the region.