Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Catalonia refuses to send weekly accounts to Madrid before referendum

Catalonia: More than 700 Mayors Called to Court Catalonia Begins Independence Campaign as Spanish Government Threatens Crackdown
Madeline Patrick | 16 September, 2017, 01:13

"Due to the situation of manifest illegality in Catalonia, [the government] has established a mechanism of payment to guarantee public services to the Catalans", Montoro said at a press conference.

The move comes after the Spanish Constitutional Court accepted an appeal by the Spanish central government and temporarily suspended the transition law approved in the Catalan regional assembly to pave the way for the independence of the region.

Mr Montoro's ministry ordered regional authorities in July to send weekly spending reports instead of monthly reports, but on Thursday, Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras, who is in charge of economic affairs, said he would stop providing them because the scrutiny was politically motivated.

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

If they win, the separatists vow to declare independence within days for the wealthy northeastern region of Spain, home to around 7.5 million people.

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.

Government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo on Friday also said that the Spanish government will not rule out taking "exceptional measures" on Catalonia ahead of the referendum.

European Union citizens to rally in London for post-Brexit rights
While previous year it had been plain to see the EU was "battered and bruised", he said, now the union was "slowly but surely gathering momentum".

"We have reached this moment stronger than what many had thought and wanted, as we are proving by responding firmly to each threat", he said.

Catalonia's governor and the mayor of its biggest city Barcelona appealed to Spain's premier and king on Friday for dialogue to resolve the region's increasingly bitter tussle with Madrid.

Jose Manuel Maza said that any of the municipal leaders who agreed to help stage next month's vote should be arrested if they fail to appear.

The government of the wealthy northeastern region has pledged to hold a referendum on breaking away from Spain on October 1 in defiance of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who has declared the event illegal and is bringing the weight of the state to bear to prevent it. An open dialogue without conditions.

The letter called for "political dialogue, based on the legitimacy we all have, to make possible something that in a democracy is never a problem and even less a crime: listening to the voice of the people". If Catalonia forms a new state it would remain outside the European Union trading bloc and be forced to apply for membership, a process that could take years.

The letter accused the Spanish state of "an unprecedented repression offensive".

"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".

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