Catalonia separatists threaten to nix Spanish govt budget over referendum demands

The Spanish government’s bid to pass a national budget is doomed unless it bends to the demands of separatists in Catalonia for a referendum on secession, the leader of the northeastern region has said. Catalan regional president Quim Torra told AP that the representatives of Catalonia’s separatist parties in Madrid’s national parliament “have made it very clear that they will vote against the budget because there has been no movement by the Spanish national government toward what we are demanding.” The passing of a budget would boost the chances for the minority government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to see out this legislative term through 2020. Failure would put pressure on Sanchez to call early elections and increase the political instability of the eurozone’s fourth leading economy.