Spain Sets Stage to Take Control of Catalonia in Independence Fight

THE NEW YORK TIMES – RAPHAEL MINDER/PHOTO CREDIT: GENERALITAT DE CATALUNYA

The standoff over Catalonia intensified significantly on Thursday as the Spanish government said it would take emergency measures to halt a secessionist drive in the economically vital and politically restive northeastern region.

The announcement came almost immediately after the Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, facing a second deadline to clarify Catalonia’s intentions since it held an Oct. 1 referendum on independence, warned that regional lawmakers were prepared to break from Spain.

The government in Madrid, in turn, announced that it would convene an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday “to defend the general interest of Spaniards, among them the citizens of Catalonia.”

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