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Spanish PM vows no independence referendum in Catalonia

Spanish PM vows no independence referendum in Catalonia

The pro-independence coalition ruling in Catalonia, a prosperous region in northeastern Spain, claims that the universal right to self-determination overrules Spain's laws.

Thursday's parliamentary session was repeatedly held up as anti-independence parties tabled motions which required lengthy discussions on procedural technicalities.

Spain's deputy prime minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, announced that the government is contesting the newly adopted legislation in the country's constitutional court, arguing for it to be declared null and void. The court may issue a decision after a meeting later Thursday.

Ten hours into a tense plenary session, Catalan lawmakers are still holding a heated debate on a controversial bill that lays the groundwork for an October 1 referendum on independence from Spain.

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Prosecutors also said they were preparing criminal charges to file against Catalan MPs for going against previous court rulings that ban taking steps to secede.

He said the officials could be charged, among other things, with disobedience, abuse of power and embezzlement.

Late Thursday, the Constitutional Court chose to proceed with the government's appeal, suspend the referendum bill and all related measures, and warn officials of their duty to comply with its decision.

The Catalan government has also begun taking applications for volunteers to work on the vote, who will have to fearless the threat of prosecution from the Spanish authorities.