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Madrid imposes state of emergency in Catalonia

Barcelona, Sept.20.– Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont accused Madrid Wednesday of imposing a "de facto state of emergency" in the Spanish region, with a series of measures to prevent an illegal independence referendum taking place.

In a speech following the latest move by Madrid -- the detention of 13 regional government officials -- Carles Puigdemont also claimed the Spanish state had implemented a "de facto suspension of Catalonia's self-governance" by for instance tightening control over Catalan finances.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy earlier called for calm as protests erupted in Barcelona over the detentions, the reasons of which were not immediately clear though authorities have warned that officials who help stage the referendum could face criminal charges.

Rajoy called for "a return to normality and a return to common sense because the referendum cannot take place" ...

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