BARCELONA, Spain — The Spanish government announced an unprecedented plan Saturday to sack Catalonia’s separatist leaders, install its own people in their place and call a new local election, using previously untapped constitutional powers to take control of the prosperous region that is threatening to secede.

After a special Cabinet session, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he wants the country’s Senate to allow central ministers to take over the jobs of all senior members of the Catalan government, including control over the regional police, finances and the public media.

In an effort to derail the independence movement, Rajoy is also seeking the Senate’s approval next week to assume the power to call a regional election – something that only Catalonia’s top leader can do now.

Even moderate Catalans were aghast at the scope of the move, and the announcement was met with banging pots and honking cars in the streets of Barcelona.

The city’s mayor, Ada Colau, called Rajoy’s measures “a serious attack” on the self-government of Catalonia.

Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell accused Spain’s central authorities of carrying out a coup.

“Mariano Rajoy has announced a de facto coup d’etat with the goal of ousting a democratically elected government,” Forcadell said, calling it “an authoritarian blow within a member of the European Union.”