The Latest: Catalonia threatens to declare independence

FAN Editor

The Latest on the Spain-Catalonia political crisis (all times local):

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9:50 a.m.

Catalonia’s leader has threatened to explicitly declare independence from Spain if no talks are offered and central authorities follow through on a threat to take control of the region’s semi-autonomous powers.

Carles Puigdemont’s warning came in a letter to Spain’s leader minutes before the expiration of a deadline to back down on the independence bid.

Puigdemont said in the letter that if Spain’s government continues to “impede dialogue and continues its repression,” Catalonia’s parliament will proceed to hold a vote on declaring independence from Spain.

Puigdemont, in an address to the regional parliament last week, declared independence but then immediately suspended it and challenged Spain to hold negotiations.

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A Spanish government official said the letter didn’t answer the call for Puigdemont to clarify whether Puigdemont had already declared independence. The official said on customary condition of anonymity that the government plans to trigger Article 155 of the Constitution.

–By Aritz Parra.


8:50 a.m.

Catalonia’s separatist leader is facing an imminent deadline to withdraw a bid to secede from Spain.

But an official from Carles Puigdemont’s party says that he has no intention of doing that and he plans to make a full declaration of independence in the next few days if Spain’s government resorts to taking over control of Catalonia’s semi-autonomous powers.

PDECat party coordinator Marta Pascal outlined Puigdemont’s plans after a meeting late Wednesday.

Spain has threatened to take direct control of the autonomous region if Puigdemont fails to meet the 0800 GMT (4 a.m. EDT) Thursday cutoff.

Spain’s government says it would be willing to hold off on doing that if the Catalan government were to call a snap regional election. But a Catalan official has ruled that out.

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