Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said the government plans to hold emergency cabinet talks within days so the referendum can be challenged before the country’s Constitutional Court.
SHAFAQNA The president of Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia has formally called for an independence referendum, dismissing Madrid’s vows to block the move.
Catalan President Artur Mas said at the regional government’s headquarters in Barcelona on Saturday that the independence vote will be scheduled for November 9, marking a serious challenge to the central government in Madrid.
“Like all the nations of the world, Catalonia has the right to decide its political future,” Mas said.
Meanwhile, Spanish leaders have threatened to block the independence vote, saying the move is unconstitutional.
This is while Mas has pledged to let Catalans determine the future of their region and at the same time has promised to respect Spanish law.
Catalonia’s regional parliament has approved a law that allows its leaders to hold consultations on independence.
However, if people vote for independence in the referendum, the region will not secede. The vote would only give Mas the mandate to negotiate independence with the Spanish government.
The majority of the 7.6 million people living in the northeastern region of Catalonia have been pushing for a vote on whether to break away from Spain, as they are increasingly resentful of their treatment by Madrid.
In recent years, a series of demonstrations to demand self-determination for Catalonia as well as to end the redistribution of the region’s taxes to other areas have been held in different parts of the country.