06:47 GMT19 September 2020
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    The Catalan president said on Monday that a possible referendum on the issue of the independence from Madrid is not an attempt to "destroy" Spain.

    MADRID (Sputnik) – Catalan's possible referendum on gaining independence from Spain complies with the Spanish constitution and does not seek to, as the state's government portrays it, "destroy" Spain, Catalonia’s President Carles Puigdemont said on Monday.

    Earlier in the day, El Pais newspaper reported that Catalan authorities had developed a mechanism they would use in the process of secession from Spain, regardless of whether or not a referendum on independence would be held. The so-called Law of Transition is set to replace the constitution for two months, during which time the Catalan parliament will begin the establishment of the Catalan Republic.

    “Our demand is in line with the constitution. It is not about an attempt to destroy Spain, it is about the Catalans’ right on self-determination,” Puigdemont said.

    He pointed out that the best solution would be to hold a referendum agreed upon by the Spanish government.

    “We will make a formal proposal that we will send to the Spanish government. We will wait as long as possible but if there is no agreement, then we will hold the referendum,” the Catalan president said.

    Puigdemont also called on Spanish authorities to not resort to threatening Catalonia.

    In September 2016, Puigdemont pledged to look for an agreement on independence from Spain. Shortly afterwards, the Catalan parliament voted in favor of two resolutions: one, which called on the regional government to hold an independence referendum in the fall of 2017, and a second, which aimed at coordinating the autonomous community's conduct with the central Spanish authorities.

    In March, Catalonia approved a draft budget which included an allocation of 5.8 million euros ($6.2 million) toward preparations for the independence referendum this year. The Spanish government decided to challenge the budget and launched a probe into the actions of the Generalitat, Catalonia's government.

    On November 9, 2014, about 80 percent of the Catalans who took part in a non-binding referendum on the region's status as part of Spain voted in favor of Catalonia becoming an independent state. Madrid has declared the referendum unconstitutional.

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    referendum, independence, Carles Puigdemont, Spain, Catalonia
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