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Spain gives Catalan separatists deadline to back down on independence or face deposing of regional government

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday ordered Catalonia’s separatist leaders to stop their push for independence by next week or face being deposed, and moved toward assuming control of the northeastern region.Rajoy sent Catalonia’s president, Carles Puigdemont, a letter telling him to cease "grave actions contrary to the general interest of Spain."The letter represented the first step in the process of invoking Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which allows Madrid to take control of any Spanish region, stripping it of autonomy. The Times obtained a copy of the letter.The Catalan leader has until Monday morning to clarify whether he has formally declared independence — a subject of confusi ...