INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM: Spanish government takes control of Catalan finances as military police mobilise

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Thousands took to the streets for Cataluña's regional day celebrations

SPAIN’S central government has threatened to take total control of Cataluña’s finances while an extra 3,000 Guardia Civil officers have been sent to the region.

 Finance Minister, Cristobal Montoro, announced today (September 15) that Madrid will be taking control of “most” payments in Cataluña to “guarantee public service as much as possible” as the independence referendum looms.

 Should the Catalan government reject the plans, the central government will take full control of the region’s finances. They have been given a 48 hour period to decide.

“We are guaranteeing that no payment, not one euro, goes towards that illegal activity,” he said.

Tensions continue to rise over the Catalan referendum, with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy threatening to cut the power to buildings used for the vote, and the Constitutional Court has ordered the Guardia Civil, National Police, Mossos d’Esquadra and Local Police to act to stop it.

Cataluña’s First Minister Carles Puigdemont said with fewer than 20 days to go until the referendum “did they really think we wouldn’t vote.”

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