Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gives region’s president until 10am on Thursday to abandon secession plans and restore ‘constitutional order’

Spain is set to enter uncharted political territory as the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, prepares to carry out his threat to halt the regional Catalan government’s push for independence byimposing direct rule from Madrid.

Last week, Rajoy warned the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, that he had until 10am on Thursday to abandon his secession plans and return the region to “constitutional order”.

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