The French government has warned Catalonia it will be expelled from the European Union if the region declares independence from Spain.

France's European affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Monday (9 October) that the country will not recognise Catalonia as an independent state.

"If there were to be a declaration of independence, it would be unilateral, and it would not be recognised," she told CNews television.

She added that if independence was recognised "the most immediate consequence would be that Catalonia automatically left the European Union."

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has pledged to push for independence after 90% of those who cast their ballot in the referendum voted 'yes' on 1 October. Puigdemont is expected to address the regional parliament on Tuesday (10 October) after announcing earlier that Catalonia would hold a secession vote this week.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said that he will employ any measure "allowed by law" to stop Catalan separatists from declaring independence.

He added that if Catalonia's government "does not comply with the obligations of the Constitution", Spain might end up triggering Article 155, which allows the central government to take control of regional affairs.

"The ideal situation would be that I don't have to find drastic solutions," he told Spanish newspaper El Pais. "But for that to happen there will have to be some rectifications."

Loiseau called on the Spanish central government and Catalonia's leaders to engage in dialogue to "resolve the crisis".

The constitutional crisis in Spain, which is the fourth-biggest economy in the eurozone, has caused stocks and bonds to tumble.

Tourism and production in Catalonia fuel the Spanish economy, with the region's output totalling a fifth of Spain's GDP.

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