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Spain gives ultimatum to Catalonia: Back down or be punished

By in Press Enterprise on October 11, 2017

By The Associated Press

  • Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy offers his hand to a police officer who salutes him on arrival at the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. Rajoy said he rejected offers of mediation in the Catalonia crisis, and called for respect of Spanish law while addressing Spain’s parliament a day after Catalan officials signed what they called a declaration of independence from Spain. (AP Photo/Paul White)

  • Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, bottom right is applauded by party members after his speech at the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. Rajoy said he rejected offers of mediation in the Catalonia crisis, and called for respect of Spanish law while addressing Spain's parliament a day after Catalan officials signed what they called a declaration of independence from Spain. (AP Photo/Paul White)

    Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, bottom right is applauded by party members after his speech at the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. Rajoy said he rejected offers of mediation in the Catalonia crisis, and called for respect of Spanish law while addressing Spain’s parliament a day after Catalan officials signed what they called a declaration of independence from Spain. (AP Photo/Paul White)

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By CIARAN GILES and ARITZ PARRA

MADRID — Spanish authorities gave Catalonia’s separatist leader five days to explain whether his ambiguous statement on secession was a formal declaration of independence and warned Wednesday that his answer dictated whether they would apply never-used constitutional powers to curtail the region’s autonomy.

Threatening to invoke a section of the Spanish Constitution to assert control over the country’s rogue region, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Catalan president Carles Puigdemont’s response to the central government’s ultimatum would be crucial in deciding “events over the coming days.”

Puigdemont announced […]    

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