Catalan crisis: Separatist MPs discuss Madrid power struggle
The Catalan parliament is to meet to discuss its next move in a power struggle with Madrid, which plans to reassert control over the region.
Catalonia's president, Carles Puigdemont, is to make an address amid speculation he will call an election.
The Spanish government plans to strip the Catalan regional government and Mr Puigdemont of their powers under Article 155 – not used by Spain before.
The article lets Madrid take control of institutions, police and finances.
In a letter to Spain's Senate on Thursday, the Catalan leader – who is pro-independence – said that the Spanish government "would create an even more serious, extraordinary situation by seizing Catalonia's political autonomy".
Mr Puigdemont called an urgent brainstorming meeting with his cabinet and pro-independence allies on Wednesday night.
The groups failed to reach agreement on their next moves in the crisis.
- What powers does Catalonia have?
- The case for and against independence
The Catalan separatists may yet declare unilateral independence or call new regional elections. The parliament session in Barcelona is set to begin at about 17:00 local time (1500 GMT).
The Spanish Senate is set to vote on Friday.
Spain's Justice Minister Rafael Catalá said an independence declaration "will have no legal validity" and will have "consequences from a criminal point of view".
The Catalan Vice-President Oriol Junqueras told local media that "the [Madrid] government is not giving us any option but to defend the civil liberties of citizens through the best institutional instruments".