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Sunday 31 August 2014

Spain rejects plans by Catalonia to hold independence referendum

Published 20/02/2014 | 13:23

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A pro-independence protestor sits in front of Catalonia's regional parliament as lawmakers voted inside, in Barcelona, Spain. The northern Spanish region of Catalonia took a symbolic step toward independence on Thursday with local lawmakers agreeing to petition the central government to allow a referendum on breaking away from Spain.
A pro-independence protestor sits in front of Catalonia's regional parliament as lawmakers voted inside, in Barcelona, Spain. The northern Spanish region of Catalonia took a symbolic step toward independence on Thursday with local lawmakers agreeing to petition the central government to allow a referendum on breaking away from Spain.

The Spanish Parliament has overwhelmingly rejected plans by the powerful north-eastern Catalonia region to hold a referendum on whether it should become independent or remain part of Spain.

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A motion rejecting the referendum was approved today by 272 MPs from the country's mainstream parties against 43 votes from Catalonian nationalist groups and some leftist politicians.

It calls on the government to ensure compliance with the law and the constitution, under which only the central government can call a referendum.

The Barcelona-based regional government of Catalonia plans to hold the referendum on November 9 but the Spanish government has made it clear it won't be allowed.

Polls indicate that Catalans are roughly evenly split on independence.

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