Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is bringing the full weight of the state to bear to prevent Catalonia’s independence referendum. His government has passed measures to tighten control of the autonomous region’s spending to stop it using state cash to pay for next month’s ballot which Madrid has declared illegal. Addressing his conservative Popular Party in the Catalan capital of Barcelona on Friday, Rajoy said: “No state in the world can accept…the things that are being proposed here.

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