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Spain sets clock ticking on Catalan independence row

Friday, October 13, 2017

Madrid: Spain today gave Catalonia's separatist leader until next week to clarify whether he intends to push ahead with independence, warning that Madrid would take control of the region if it insisted on breaking away.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed to do everything in his power to prevent Catalan secession following a banned referendum in the region, which remains deeply divided over independence.

He held an emergency cabinet meeting after Catalonia's president Carles Puigdemont announced yesterday that he had accepted the mandate for "Catalonia to become an independent state."

Rajoy told lawmakers in Madrid he was giving Puigdemont until Monday to decide if he really wanted to take the path of independence.

"It is very important that Puigdemont clarify for the rest of Spaniards if he declared independence yesterday or not," he said.

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