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Spain to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy

The Spanish government said on Thursday it will suspend Catalonia’s autonomy after the region’s president Carles Puigdemont did not drop intentions to succeed from Madrid.

Catalonia’s president Mr Puigdemont confirmed that a move for independence was still suspended in a letter sent to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy just hours before a central government deadline passed for the region to drop independence aspirations by 10 am local time.

Government spokesman Méndez de Vigo said Madrid was “following procedure” by moving to revoke Catalonian autonomy and “restore constitutional order and legality” to the region.

De Vigo explained that Puigdemont has “not been clear” on his intentions so the government was following procedure.

The Spanish federal cabinet will meet on Saturday to propose invoking Article 155, suspending Catalonian home rule.

Catalonia’s leadership have not responded to the Spanish move at this time, but an announcement is expected shortly.

Puigdemont’s letter threatened that Catalonia would declare independence if Madrid did not enter negotiations with Barcelona. He also wrote that the Catalan parliament could vote for a formal declaration of independence if no talks are offered by Madrid.

The deadline was set by Spain after Puigdemont said on Oct 10 that an independence referendum 10 days earlier gave him a mandate to declare the region separation from the central government.

However, the region’s president delayed implementing a declaration in favour of entering talks with Madrid.

More details to follow. Please refresh for the latest. Image 1 of Catalan separatists rallying earlier this month. 

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