Spain is to sue the leader of its Catalonia regional government Artur Mas for “disobedience and dishonesty” after he defied a court injunction banning a vote on independence.
That could prevent Mas from standing in upcoming regional elections.
Meanwhile Mas has called for Madrid to start concrete plans for a formal referendum on Catalonian independence
similar to the recent vote held in Scotland.
Nearly two million people
said they supported secession in an informal vote that took place last weekend, the result of which is not recognised by Madrid.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he is open to dialogue but will not discuss independence.
“The Parliament of Catalonia is authorised to start the process of a Constitutional reform,” Rajoy told a news conference. “This is what they should have done from the beginning. This is the only legal and responsible path to go forward with its proposals. Both me and my party will be against any Constitutional reform that leads to the end of the national sovereignty.”
Mas and Rajoy have said they want to start a dialogue within the next few days after two years of tension between the central and regional governments.
That was intensified by the legal block against a more formal referendum.