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Spain's Rajoy says 'critical point' reached in Catalonia


© AFP | Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will hold a cabinet meeting on October 21 where they will decide which powers they will seize from Catalonia

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Friday his government has reached a "critical point" as it seeks to use emergency measures to stop Catalonia's separatist bid.

"We have reached a critical point," Rajoy told a press conference following an EU leaders summit in Brussels that backed his conservative government.

"We have tried by all means to avoid a difficult situation," he added.

"But you will understand it is difficult for a country, for an EU government, to see... the rule of law being liquidated" in a banned independence referendum in Catalonia, he said.

Rajoy's cabinet is due to meet Saturday to decide which powers to seize from Catalonia, which controls its own healthcare, education and policing.

Political parties pushed meanwhile for elections as a way out of the country's worst crisis in decades.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has warned any move to seize powers could push regional lawmakers to declare unilateral independence following a chaotic referendum on October 1 on whether to split from Spain.

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