The Latest: Catalan parliament speaker slams session block

BARCELONA, Spain — The Latest on Spain’s political crisis amid Catalonia’s push for independence (all times local):

7:55 p.m.

Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell says the suspension by Spanish courts of a planned plenary session to consider a declaration of independence for the region is a “violation of freedom of speech.”

Spain’s Constitutional Court on Thursday warned Forcadell and other members of the speakers’ board that they could face prosecution for failing to halt Monday’s controversial parliamentary session.

Forcadell said in response to the court’s move: “I won’t allow censorship to enter Parliament.” She didn’t say whether the speakers’ board would call off the plenary meeting, but vowed to continue “defending the sovereignty” of the legislative body.

Regional leader Carles Puigdemont has vowed to go ahead with secession while calling central authorities to accept a mediation, which Spain Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has rejected.


7:25 p.m.

The mayor of Barcelona is calling for European institutions to consider setting up a task force of experts to mediate in the political deadlock between the Spanish and Catalan governments.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau met Thursday with consular representatives of European countries and shared with them the need for a “multilevel task force under a European umbrella” for both sides to sit for talks with the help of academics, jurists and regional lawmakers of all parties.

Officials in the European Union have called

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