In Catalonia, gave the official start of the campaign for independence

In Catalonia, gave the official start of the campaign for independence

Speaking at a Euronews question-and-answer session, Juncker, however, said that an independent Catalonia would need to take the same path to joining the European Union as other nations have done in the past, giving Spain a potential veto.

Separatist politicians launched the Yes campaign on Thursday as they press ahead with the vote despite a ban by the country's courts and a criminal investigation into three out of four Catalan mayors actively supporting it.

In a letter dated September 13, Catalan Deputy Governor Oriol Junqueras told Spanish Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro the region would no longer comply with the obligation to submit its accounts every week.

Never mind that Madrid has declared the ballot illegal, Puigdemont was defiant.

Ramon Pique, the coordinator of the Catalan National Assembly campaign, has said however that the determination of the state to prevent the independence referendum from being carried out might actually have the effect of boosting support among Catalan's for independence.

But on Thursday, Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras, who is in charge of economic affairs, said he would stop providing them because the scrutiny was politically motivated.

In response to the Spanish government's latest move, the Catalan authorities have urged the region's mayors to take to the streets of Barcelona in protest on Saturday.

The Catalonia region centered on Barcelona generates a fifth of Spain's gross domestic product.

Madrid says it will pay bills and handle transfers for basic public services in place of the Catalan government.

"We are acting firmly to ensure the rights and liberties of everyone and will react to whatever the secessionists do", he said.

Jose Manuel Maza said that any of the municipal leaders who agreed to help stage next month's vote should be arrested if they fail to appear.

"We call for. open and unconditional dialogue".

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was expected in the Catalan capital of Barcelona today, a day after pro-independence leaders launched their campaign for a referendum outlawed by Madrid.

Under Article 155 of Spain's constitution, Madrid has the power to intervene directly in the running of Catalonia's regional government, forcing it to drop the vote.

"To go against the constitution would be going against the EU framework", European Parliament president Antonio Tajani said in a letter to a Spanish MEP, which was leaked by El Confidencial, a Spanish news website.

The signatories also accused the Spanish administration, lead by Mr Rajoy of having gone "on the offensive with unprecedented repression".

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