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Catalan universities’ accounts scrutinised

The Spanish treasury is monitoring the accounts of a list of Catalan institutions, including universities and research institutes, to prevent public funds from being used to prepare for a referendum on the independence of the Catalonia region on 1 October.

Over the past two weeks the Spanish government has stepped up efforts to stop the referendum, which has been ruled illegal by Spanish courts. On 19 September, the Spanish treasury sent a letter to banking trade associations instructing them to keep an eye on payments made by the Catalan regional government and a list of Catalan organisations that receive public funds.

The list includes 297 organisations established as charities, public companies or consortia, which the Spanish government suspects the Catalan government could use as intermediaries to divert funds to the vote.

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