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Spain's stance on Catalonia causing 'tension across the entire Spanish state,' Basque lawmaker says

  • Spain's central government said Thursday it would move to suspend Catalonia's autonomy after the regional leader failed to drop a bid for independence
  • "I think that the situation between Catalonia and the Spanish government is generating a certain tension across the entire Spanish state," Izaskun Bilbao, member of European Parliament for the Basque Nationalist Party, told CNBC on Friday
A man dressed in the Catalonian flag confronts officers as police move in on the crowds as members of the public gather outside to prevent them from stopping the opening and intended voting in the referendum at a polling station where the Catalonia President Carles Puigdemont will vote later today on October 1, 2017 in Sant Julia de Ramis, Spain.
David Ramos | Getty Images
A man dressed in the Catalonian flag confronts officers as police move in on the crowds as members of the public gather outside to prevent them from stopping the opening and intended voting in the referendum at a polling station where the Catalonia President Carles Puigdemont will vote later today on October 1, 2017 in Sant Julia de Ramis, Spain.

The Catalonia crisis could soon reverberate throughout the country and prompt other Spanish regions to turn their back on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the former president of the Basque parliament told CNBC on Friday.

Spain's central government said Thursday it would move to suspend Catalonia's autonomy after the regional leader failed to drop a bid for independence. Rajoy's government is poised to meet Saturday to propose measures that could strip Catalonia of some powers and officially trigger Article 155 of the constitution.

While it has never been invoked before, Article 155 refers to the section within Spain's constitution that says any largely autonomous community must fulfil its obligations to the Spanish state, or else it risks having its powers taken away.

"I think that the situation between Catalonia and the Spanish government is generating a certain tension across the entire Spanish state," Izaskun Bilbao, member of European Parliament for the Basque Nationalist Party, told CNBC on Friday, according to a translation.

'Political dialogue must not be broken'

Relations between Catalonia's separatist government and Madrid have hit their lowest point in years following an outlawed referendum vote earlier in the month, deepening a constitutional crisis in Spain.

"Evidently, the triggering of Article 155 and further prosecutions at this moment will add to the difficulties between the two. We think that political dialogue must not be broken and we must try and find stability."

"Obviously we'll see what happens next, but it's possible that the activation of Article 155, could impact relationships and support currently in place." she added.

—CNBC's Holly Ellyatt and Reuters contributed to this report.