Spanish PM not worried by Catalonia vote foreign tampering fears

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said he is confident his government can handle any possible foreign tampering of upcoming elections in Catalonia amid a secession bid by the prosperous region.

On Monday, Spain's defence minister Maria Dolores de Cospedal said "many actions" in recent months to mount a misinformation campaign to destabilise Catalonia had "come from Russian territory".

She said Spain had no indication that Russia's government was involved.

Responding to a question in Parliament on Wednesday on Spain's preparedness, Mr Rajoy said "people will vote with complete liberty".

Mr Rajoy used extraordinary powers to call early elections in Catalonia for December 21 as part of an effort to derail a push by separatists to create a new Catalan state.

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