On September 6, despite protests from Madrid, the Catalan Parliament passed a law to hold an independence referendum which will ask Catalonians whether or not they want the Spanish province to become "an independent country in the form of a republic." The Spanish government considers the decision illegal.
"We are preparing criminal suits," Jose Manuel Maza told reporters adding that two suits would be lodged to Catalonia's supreme court.
Police and national guard will ensure stability and order, he stated.
"The General Prosecutor's Office requested security forces to investigate any actions related to the organization of the referendum."
In early June, the president of the autonomous region, Carles Puigdemont, said that Catalonia would hold a referendum on independence from Spain on October 1, 2017, prompting criticism from Madrid.