Spain to control Catalan spending as long as 'exceptional' situation continues
Spain to control Catalan spending as long as 'exceptional' situation continues
Spain's north-eastern region of Catalonia wants an independence referendum
16 September, 2017, 01:09
Madrid, Sep 14 (Prensa Latina) Spain has warned today that it will respond with the full weight of the law to the self-determination referendum campaign in Catalonia, which is scheduled to start on Thursday by regional authorities.
In a boost for the credibility of the referendum, the mayor of Barcelona said earlier on Thursday that the vote would go ahead in the city, having previously expressed concern that civil servants involved may lose their jobs.
The increased control on the region's financing would continue for as long as the "exceptional" situation continues, Montoro said.
Montoro said Spain's central government will take over the payments of essential services and public workers' salaries in the wealthy northeastern region which has significant powers over matters such as education and healthcare.
"Does anyone think we're not going to vote?"
Nonetheless, those calling for independence are bullish not just about defying Madrid's legal obstacles but also about the result of the referendum.
He said the arrangement implied "political control that is not related to the objectives of budget stability or to the purposes of state legislation in this matter".
They have also criticised what they see as heavy-handed measures by Madrid to stop the vote.
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"To talk about dialogue when the only thing the Catalan government has wanted for months, years, is a referendum come what may, seems like a threat", government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo told a news conference.
The appeal comes at the end of a week in which the state prosecutor summoned mayors for questioning, and Catalonia rebelled against Madrid's fiscal rules.
"We are acting firmly to ensure the rights and liberties of everyone and will react to whatever the secessionists do", he said.
And they have ordered police to seize ballot boxes, election flyers and any other item that could be used in the referendum and launched an official complaint against Puigdemont and other top Catalan officials over their referendum plans.
King Felipe was widely quoted as praising Spain's democracy and social harmony at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, saying "the constitution will prevail over any rupture in that".
The signatories also accused the Spanish administration, lead by Mr Rajoy of having gone "on the offensive with unprecedented repression".
Officials in Catalonia and the north-eastern region's capital, Barcelona, asked in a letter released on Friday for fresh dialogue on holding the vote with the government's permission. On November 9, 2014, about 80 percent of the Catalans who took part in a non-binding referendum on the region's status as part of Spain voted in favor of Catalonia becoming an independent state.
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