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Catalonia cannot accept 'illegal' control from Madrid, says regional leader

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks on his mobile phone during a demonstration organised by Catalan pro-independence movements ANC (Catalan National Assembly) and Omnium Cutural, following the imprisonment of their two leaders Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, in Barcelona, Spain, October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

MADRID (Reuters) - The people of Catalonia cannot accept the “illegal” measures taken by the Spanish government to rule the region directly from Madrid, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said on Saturday, as he called on the regional parliament to act against them.

Puigdemont said the decision by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to fire the regional government and force a new election, which will be effective next Friday, was “the worst attack against the institutions and the people of Catalonia since the military dictatorship of Francisco Franco.”

“I ask the parliament to meet in a plenary session during which we, the representatives of the citizens’ sovereignty, will be able to decide over this attempt to liquidate our government and our democracy and act in consequence,” Puigdemont said in a televised speech.

Reporting by Julien Toyer and Carlos Ruano; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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