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Spain to impose direct rule on Catalonia as deadline passes

Madrid will press ahead with suspending autonomy on Saturday after Catalan leader refuses to abandon independence push

The Spanish government is to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy and impose direct rule after the region’s president refused to abandon the push for independence that has led to Spain’s biggest political crisis for 40 years.

The announcement of the unprecedented measure came after the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, threatened a unilateral declaration of independence if the Spanish government did not agree to talks on the issue.

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