MADRID, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Spanish central government has on Saturday officially taken control of Catalonia's regional government, Generalitat, with Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy taking control of the functions of the president of Generalitat.
Rajoy has delegated these duties on Spain's Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, who is also in charge of the Catalan vice-presidency. The Spanish ministries take control of the different departments of the Generalitat.
The Spanish government has also sacked the Chief of the Catalan police, Josep Lluis Trapero, who accepted the decision, and Ferran Lopez was appointed as the new chief.
Also on Saturday, former president of Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, asked Catalan citizens to be patient, refuse violence and go on working in order to "build a free country".
Meanwhile, thousands of people gathered in Plaza Colon in Spanish capital Madrid to defend the unity of the country and the Spanish constitution.