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Catalan government to appeal direct rule in constitutional court

Catalan regional President Carles Puigdemont may call an early regional election

AP | PTI  |  Madrid 

People with Catalan flags gather during a rally in Barcelona, Spain | Photo: AP | PTI

Catalonia's political leaders intend to bring a legal challenge to prevent the Spanish government from removing them from office and taking over running the region to stop its push for independence, a regional spokesman said today.

Appeals will be lodged in Spain's Constitutional and Supreme Courts against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's decision to sack Catalonia's government and curtail the regional parliament's powers, regional government spokesman Jordi Turull said.

If the regional government is not successful in Spanish courts, it will pursue the case in courts, Turull said.

Spain's Senate is expected to approve Rajoy's plans on Friday, triggering previously untapped constitutional powers to act against accused of violating the law and court orders by holding a secession referendum and preparing to declare independence.

"We are going to respond in a very solid way," Turull said at the end of the regional government's weekly cabinet meeting. "We will exhaust all internal ways in order to turn to the justice if needed."

Speculation has increased in recent days that Catalan regional President may call an early regional election to avoid the central government's intervention.

More details about the effect the political crisis is having on emerged today when Caixabank, Spain's third-largest bank, reported it suffered a "moderate" but temporary run on deposits due to the crisis over the region's independence bid.

The ban until recently was based in Catalonia, but transferred its headquarters to the Valencia region on October 6.

Presenting the company's earnings for the first time in the city of Valencia, CEO Gonzalo Gortazar declined to give details on the value of the withdrawn deposits, but said the losses had "been reversed" and the bank continued to grow.

Gortazar said the headquarters relocation was definitive.

Local media reports quoted him as saying the bank does not currently plan to move any jobs out of

Caixabank, a second bank, Sabadell, and more than a thousand other companies have moved their official bases out of to ensure they could continue operating under European Union laws if breaks away from

First Published: Tue, October 24 2017. 22:49 IST