Spain warns Catalonia against using public money in vote

Catalans hold a pro-independence rally ahead of the referendum planned for November 9, 2014A senior Spanish government official on Thursday warned the wealthy region of Catalonia that it is banned from using public money to stage a symbolic independence referendum this weekend. Spain’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday ordered the Catalan government to suspend the planned vote but regional leader Artur Mas has vowed to press ahead with Sunday’s ballot, which will be organised by volunteers without an official electoral roll. “Efforts to use public resources to stage the consultation or other actions linked to it could go against the court ruling,” Madrid’s representative in the region wrote in a letter to the Catalan government obtained by AFP. The letter was sent to the Catalan department that will organise the ballot as well as to the regional education department, which oversees schools where ballot boxes will be installed.

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