Catalans ask PM to agree to independence referendum

Catalonia: More than 700 Mayors Called to Court

But like the Catalans, the Kurds are determined to vote anyway.

On September 6, Catalonia's parliament voted in favor of a law on the transition to independence that regulates the region's exit from Spain, the parliamentary speaker said. At his government's request, Spain's Constitutional Court has suspended the Catalan referendum law.

The increased control on the region's financing would continue for as long as the "exceptional" situation continues, Montoro said.

Puigdemont told broadcaster TV3 on Thursday the national government in Madrid has created a "climate of hostility and paranoia" around the planned ballot.

The central government made arrangements to take over the funding of most essential public services if Puigdemont failed to guarantee, within 48 hours of the measures coming into force, that public cash was not being used to fund the referendum.

It is the latest in a series of attempts by Madrid to stop the referendum from taking place.

Catalonia, an industrial region with a strong export sector and a thriving tourist destination, produces about a fifth of the country's total economic output but complains it receives a lot less back.

They were promptly rejected with government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo telling reporters: "It's ironic coming from those who have refused dialogue save for a very specific issue - the only one they care about - the independence referendum".

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"Right now, we have no idea where they are", he said.

Among the most populated cities, many will not get involved, and question marks remain over the biggest of them all - Barcelona.

They have been told they will be arrested if they do not comply with the investigation and show up in court.

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed to do "whatever is necessary" to prevent a referendum on secession in Catalonia.

"We call for. open and unconditional dialogue. A political dialogue, from legitimacy that each one represents, to make possible what democracy is never a problem, nor still less a crime: listen to voice of citizens". If Catalonia forms a new state it would remain outside the European Union trading bloc and be forced to apply for membership, a process that could take years.

Catalonia's vice president Oriol Junqueras, who is in charge of budget affairs, sent a letter to Spain's central government saying he would not provide a weekly account of his government's spending.

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

Supporters of independence are celebrating already despite surveys indicating less than 50 percent of Catalonia's population want full self-rule.

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