Spain passes measures to control Catalonia spending ahead of independence vote

Jay Jacobs
September 16, 2017

Hundreds of thousands of Catalans rallied yesterday (11 September) to demand their region's secession from Spain, in a show of strength three weeks ahead of an independence referendum which has been banned by Madrid.

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.

"These measures are to guarantee that not one euro will go toward financing illegal acts", Spain's Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro said following the weekly cabinet meeting.

"The will of the (Catalan) government is to continue to focus on dialogue and the exercise of democracy as a way to resolve the debate on political relations between Catalonia and Spain", the letter said.

Juncker was asked if the European Commission would recognise and accept a "Yes" result in the 1 October referendum in Catalonia.

This new system will allow the Spanish state to "replace the region for the majority of essential spending", he added.

It is the latest in a series of attempts by Madrid to stop the referendum from taking place.

"British companies are wary of any political instability..."

The move comes just days after one million Catalans marched in Barcelona calling for independence.

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Catalonia, an industrial region with a strong export sector and a thriving tourist destination, produces about a fifth of the country's total economic output but complains it receives a lot less back. The central government had ordered them in July to scrutinize that public funds were not being used on the illegal vote.

"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.

"We are acting firmly to ensure the rights and liberties of everyone and will react to whatever the secessionists do", he said. The region includes Barcelona, the seventh-largest European Union city.

The decision follows a series of moves to block a Catalan referendum on self-rule, planned for October 1, which Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government has declared illegal.

"We call for. open and unconditional dialogue".

The letter says a copy is being sent to King Felipe VI.

The signatories also accused the Spanish administration, lead by Mr Rajoy of having gone "on the offensive with unprecedented repression".

"We have always said that we would respect the rulings of the Spanish Constitutional Court and the Spanish parliament, said Juncker: "If there were to be a yes vote for Catalan independence we would respect that choice".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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