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Spanish Constitutional Court Blocks Catalan Budget

© Sputnik / Maria Sibiryakova / Go to the mediabankNational Day of Catalonia celebrated in Barcelona
National Day of Catalonia celebrated in Barcelona - Sputnik International
Spain’s Constitutional Court made decision to block the draft budget of Catalonia, which was approved by the Catalan authorities and includes allocations for an independence referendum, according to official statement.

Demonstrators wave European, Spanish and Catalan flags during a demonstration called by Sociedat Civil Catalana (Catalan Civil Society) to support the unity of Spain, at Catalonia square in Barcelona - Sputnik International
Spain’s Constitutional Court Cancels Resolutions on Catalonia's Independence
MADRID (Sputnik) — Spain’s Constitutional Court accepted for consideration the Spanish government’s appeal against the Generalitat (government) of Catalonia region over the draft budget of the region, which was approved by the Catalan authorities and includes allocations for an independence referendum.

In March, Catalonia approved the draft budget which includes spending on the independence referendum planned to be held this year. According to the budget, a total of 5.8 million euros ($6.2 million) would be spent on preparations for the referendum. The Spanish government decided to challenge the budget and launched a probe into the actions of the Generalitat.

The Constitutional Court now has five months to decide on the issue, but in the time, the provisions of the budget challenged by Spain cannot be implemented.

Former Catalan President Artur Mas and former regional councilors Joana Ortega and Irene Rigau gesture to a crowd of people waving Catalan Estelada flags as they arrived to court in Barcelona, Spain, February 6, 2017 - Sputnik International
Thousands Rally at Spain's Catalonia Court Amid Trial Over Independence Vote
Catalonia, a Spanish province with an autonomous status, has long sought independence from Spain, but Madrid has repeatedly declined Catalonia’s quest for independence. On November 9, 2014, about 80 percent of the Catalans who took part in a non-binding referendum on the region's status as part of Spain voted in favor of Catalonia becoming a separate state.

On October 6, 2016, the parliament of Catalonia approved a resolution stating that the referendum on independence of the autonomous community from Spain should be held no later than September 2017. The Spanish government challenged the resolution, with Spain's Constitutional Court suspending it. President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont responded to the decision saying that the Catalan authorities would not submit to the court’s ruling and would continue preparations for the referendum.

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