Catalonia plans October independence vote defying Spain

  |   World News

The leader of Spain's Catalonia region, Carles Puigdemont, has called an independence referendum for 1 October, in defiance of the Madrid government. Spain is currently a constitutional monarchy, and Catalonia is one of its wealthiest regions.

Surveys suggest Catalan voters would narrowly reject independence, though most favour holding a referendum. The central government in Madrid has repeatedly stressed that secession would violate the constitution. It is not clear if the referendum will go ahead.

In November 2014 Catalonia held a non-binding vote, called a "consultation", in which 80% of those who cast ballots backed independence. However, just 2.3 million out of 6.3 million eligible voters took part.

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