EU Commission Urges Catalonia to Respect Spain's Constitution

EU Commission Urges Catalonia to Respect Spain's Constitution

EU Commission Urges Catalonia to Respect Spain's Constitution

Like Spain's, the central government of Iraq is determined to prevent an independence vote for its largest majority.

Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro said the Catalan authorities could not be trusted to spend the money on public services rather than the planned vote.

"If anyone urges you to go to a polling station, don't go, because the referendum can't take place, it would be an absolutely illegal act", the prime minister said.

Rajoy, who is due to attend an event for his ruling People's Party (PP) in Barcelona, Spain's second-biggest city, later on Friday, has said the government would come down with all the force of the law to ensure no referendum goes ahead.

Since July, Madrid has obliged the Catalan government to provide weekly spending reports in an attempt to guarantee that public cash is not used to organize the October 1 referendum.

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.

Prosecutors have also filed legal proceedings against the five members of an electoral board set up by the regional government to oversee the banned vote.

But the overture was roundly rebuffed by the spokesman for the Spanish government, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, who said Madrid had not received the letter and only learned about it through the press.

The state prosecutor has called for the mayors to be arrested if they fail to comply with the summons.

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.

"Right now, we have no idea where they are", he said. An open dialogue without conditions.

Catalonia's vice president Oriol Junqueras, who is in charge of budget affairs, sent a letter to Spain's central government saying he would not provide a weekly account of his government's spending.

The letter accused the Spanish state of "an unprecedented repression offensive". The government warned the region would lose access to some public funds if it was found to be using state money to organize the vote.

Most of Catalonia's 5.5 million voters want to have a say on the region's relationship with Spain, but the independence cause has lost support in recent years and surveys now indicate less than half the population would choose full self-rule.

Spain's Constitutional Court suspended a referendum law that was fast-tracked through Catalonia's regional parliament last week.

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