The Cable

MADRID (Reuters) - Catalonia said on Monday it was confident all officials including police would defy attempts by Madrid to enforce direct rule on the region in a dispute raising fears of unrest among Spain’s European allies.

The Spanish government has invoked special constitutional powers to fire the regional government and force elections to counter an independence drive. A vote in the national Senate to implement direct rule is due on Friday.

But leaders of the secessionist campaign said a referendum on Oct. 1, in which 43 percent of the electorate voted, gave them a mandate to claim independence from the rest of Spain.

“It’s not that we will refuse (orders). It is not a personal decision. It is a seven million-person decision,” Catalonia’s foreign affairs chief Raul Romeva told BBC radio.

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