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Spain to Go to Any Lengths to Avoid Independence Referendum: Reports

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Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said the Spanish government will use every possible legal measure to prevent Catalonia's secession, Europa Press reported Tuesday.

MOSCOW, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said the Spanish government will use every possible legal measure to prevent Catalonia's secession, Europa Press reported Tuesday.

"There is a line that should not be crossed. The government will use all legal tools available to prevent a separation referendum that contradicts Spanish law, ignores the international community, and that will have dire consequences for Catalonia, Spain and the European Union," the minister was quoted as saying by the agency.

"Spain's integrity is not the property of the government or parliament," he added, saying that the country's integrity was enshrined in the constitution.

A referendum on the Spanish region's independence has been set for November 9. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the Constitutional Court of Spain have repeatedly stressed that they would not recognize the results of the vote, which they consider illegal.

Catalan President Artur Mas expressed his determination to go ahead with the referendum, regardless of what the Spanish government may do to hamper it. Should the Spanish authorities attempt to hinder the referendum, Mas is ready to call new elections by 2016 at the latest, which will become a referendum on independence.

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