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Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gestures during a news conference at a weekly cabinet meeting at Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain July 28, 2017. REUTERS/Sergio Perez


MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's government has lodged an appeal with the Constitutional Court against the latest bid by Catalonia's regional leaders to pave the way for a referendum on independence, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told a news conference on Friday.

Lawmakers in the northeastern region of Catalonia on Wednesday approved a set of changes to procedures that will allow them to fast-track preparations for the referendum through their local assembly in August.

The vote outlined by separatist leaders in Catalonia is planned for Oct. 1.

"There will not be any referendum on Oct. 1," Rajoy told a news conference in Madrid after the weekly cabinet meeting. "With this (legal) appeal, the government is meeting its duty to make sure the law is upheld."

Spain's Constitutional Court has blocked previous attempts to vote on independence in Catalonia.

(Reporting by Tomas Cobos and Paul Day, Writing by Sarah White)

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