Cancun: Canada will extend travel controls to Catalonia until at least April 20, a move the Spanish government says is necessary to protect its tourism industry.
The move comes a day after Catalonia’s parliament passed a controversial bill that would allow Catalan leaders to hold a unilateral referendum on secession.
The European Commission, which is tasked with monitoring compliance with EU rules, said on Tuesday it would work with Spain to assess whether Catalonia’s legislation was legally sound.
“We will monitor closely the implementation of the bill and take all necessary measures to ensure that the law complies with EU legislation,” it said in a statement.
The measures, which are expected to take effect in two weeks, will not include the use of force by the government.
The move has provoked outrage among many in Catalonia and across Europe, and comes as tensions continue to rise between Madrid and Barcelona over Catalonia’s independence from Spain.
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called the referendum a provocation and the law a “dangerous” measure.
He also warned that the move could lead to “a real conflict” and “a lot of casualties” on both sides.
Spain and Catalonia have clashed in the past over whether Catalonia should be able to hold its own referendum.
The two sides met on Wednesday, when Catalan officials said the measure will allow the two sides to discuss a “final solution” for the crisis.