The Latest: Spain minister says 'not too late' for Catalonia

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Posted: Oct 15, 2017 8:51 AM
The Latest: Spain minister says 'not too late' for Catalonia

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Latest on the Spain-Catalonia political crisis (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Spain's interior minister has called for Catalonia's separatist leader to respect the Spanish Constitution and desist in his push for independence for the northeastern region.

Juan Ignacio Zoido has said "it is not too late to rectify the situation" and asks Catalan president Carles Puigdemont to "not be carried away by the radical minority he has as a partner in government that has pushed Catalonia to the edge of the cliff."

The Spanish government has given Puigdemont until Monday morning to clarify if he did or didn't actually declare independence earlier this week.

If he answers "Yes," Madrid has given him until Thursday to back down or else Catalonia's ample self-rule could be temporarily suspended.

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11:35 a.m.

Catalonia's president is facing a critical decision that could determine the course of the region's secessionist movement to break away from Spain.

The Spanish government has given Carles Puigdemont until Monday morning to clarify if he did or didn't actually declare independence earlier this week.

Puigdemont told Catalan lawmakers Tuesday that he had "accepted" a mandate for independence based on the results of a disputed referendum, but that he wanted parliament to delay its implementation to give one last chance to open negotiations with Spain.

If Puigdemont replies "Yes" to Madrid on Monday, then Spain's government has given him until Thursday to back down or else Catalonia's ample self-rule could be temporarily suspended.

But if Puigdemont replies "No," he will face rebellion from hardliners inside the secessionist camp.