Spain's deputy prime minister says Madrid cannot allow Catalonia to hold a referendum on independence, calling such a vote illegal.
Soraya Saenz de Santa-maria says the government will not let that part of the population decide the question of national sovereignty for others. She made the remarks in Barcelona at a pro-government rally. Santa-maria said Madrid was ready for dialog with Catalonia on various issues, as long as it is in line with the constitution. She also stressed that if Catalonia quits Spain, it will no longer be a European Union member, and may have to leave the eurozone altogether.