Spain: Catalonia calls October referendum on independence from Spain
Catalonia will hold a referendum on splitting from Spain on Oct. 1, the head of the region said on Friday, ratcheting up a confrontation with the central government in Madrid which says such a vote is illegal and must not take place.
Previous secessionist challenges in Catalonia – a populous and wealthy region in north-eastern Spain which has its own language and Barcelona as its capital – were blocked by Spain’s conservative government and the Constitutional Court.
“The question will be: ‘Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic’,” Carles Puigdemont, the head of the regional government, said.
He said attempts to agree a date and the wording of the question with the Madrid government – which is vehemently opposed to allowing Catalonia to split from Spain – had failed.
“We have always made very diverse offers and all of them have been rejected without any exception,” Puigdemont said.
Madrid said that it would block any attempt to hold a vote as soon as the referendum announcement was formally rubber-stamped by Catalan authorities.
“That referendum will not take place because it is illegal,” government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo told a news conference. “This is just another strategic step …read more