Spanish Prime-Minister Marion Rajoy has tonight been unable to suspend the Catalonian Parliament after their leader along with the rest of the population went into hiding, it has emerged.

The unexpected discovery was made shortly before lunchtime when Rajoy received a message from Carles Puidemont. The Catalan leader simply wrote ‘if you want us to be a part of Spain you’ll have to find us first’.

Rajoy then spent several fruitless hours cycling through the Pyrenees shouting ‘Am I getting warmer?’ through a microphone before giving up. It is unknown whether Rajoy will face a rebellion from his party over the handling of the Catalan crisis, but it is widely reported that he is the first leader of a country to make an entire population go missing.

The Spanish army has been brought in to find the missing populace, which is estimated to be 7.5 million. ‘We can’t understand where they’ve got to, I mean how do millions of people hide in such a small area?’

Various theories suggest that the Catalans have prepared for the eventuality of direct rule and have built a vast subterranean warren from which to govern independently, although geothermal imaging has shown no such structures exist beneath the Iberian Peninsula.

It is expected that if the population of Catalonia is not found by end of the week, then an ultimatum will be broadcast by the King of Spain stating that the Spanish people will also go into hiding.

The EU has not responded to the unfolding absurdity.