Spanish PM Rajoy flies to the US in last minute bid to halt referendum

Spanish PM flies to the US for a working lunch with President Trump to discuss the upcoming referendum in Catalunya, the EU and NATO.

LAST UPDATED: 26 Sep, 2017 @ 13:34
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SPAIN’S Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is flying to the US to garner support from US President Donald Trump to oppose Catalunya’s ‘illegal’ referendum.

Rajoy will visit the White House on Tuesday and meet with President Trump over a working lunch and hold a joint press conference in the Rose Garden afterwards.

The meeting will be the first time Rajoy and President Trump have sat down together after talking several times over the phone.

The discussions are likely to include Spain’s role in the European Union and its commitment to NATO as well as the issue of Catalunya.

Spain’s central government claim the planned referendum violates Spain’s constitution, and the Constitutional Court has ordered it suspended while it studies its legality.

Last week the Policia Nacional raided the HQ of the Catalan government as well as searching the economy and foreign ministries.

Catalunya’s economy represents a fifth of Spain’s 1.1 trillion-euro (£970 billion) economy and has wide-reaching autonomy.

Voters are set to head to the ballot boxes in five days on October 1.

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