Madrid acts on referendum; WORLD BULLETINS.
THE Spanish government has filed appeals at the country's top court to try and halt the powerful north-eastern region of Catalonia from staging an independence referendum.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the November 9 referendum called by Catalan regional leader Artur Mas represented "a grave attack on the rights of all Spaniards", who under the 1979 Spanish Constitution are the only ones who can vote on issues of sovereignty.
He stressed the constitution "was based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish state" and that while the charter could be amended in the future, right now the government's priority is to defend it. He spoke after a special cabinet meeting called to discuss the crisis.