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Spain’s prime minister gives Catalonia leaders an ultimatum

11:25, Thursday, 19 October, 2017
Spain’s prime minister gives Catalonia leaders an ultimatum

Spain’s prime minister on Wednesday urged Catalonia’s leaders to back down from their bid to gain independence for the region, a day before a central government deadline that could significantly deepen the country’s political crisis.
     Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has given Catalan president Carles Puigdemont until Thursday morning to clarify whether he is making the wealthy region independent. The Madrid-based national government is threatening to take the unprecedented step of seizing some or total control of the semi-autonomous region if Puigdemont proceeds with his ambitions of secession. That would likely trigger an explosive reaction in Catalonia.
     With the clock ticking, Rajoy called on Puigdemont to “act sensibly” and heed the interests of all Spaniards and Catalans.
     Addressing Puigdemont’s party lawmakers in the Spanish parliament, Rajoy said they should try to convince the Catalan leader “not to make any more problems.”The tension remained high, however, just weeks after an Oct. 1 referendum in Catalonia which Spain’s top court ruled was unconstitutional.

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