02:11 GMT12 August 2020
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    Catalonia’s President Carles Puigdemont said that Catalan authorities will hold independence referendum on October 1 even if the Constitutional Court ban it.

    MADRID (Sputnik) — Catalan authorities will hold an independence referendum on October 1 regardless of whether or not the Spanish Constitutional Court declares the move illegal, Catalonia’s President Carles Puigdemont said in an interview with Le Figaro newspaper.

    "We will not abandon the idea of referendum even if the Constitutional Court ban it. No suspension or threat may prevent the Catalans from determining their future in a democratic way," Puigdemont told the newspaper.

    Catalonia's leader stressed that he would not step down as the head of the Generalitat, Catalonia's government, and would not recognize such a decision by the Spanish Constitutional Court. Puigdemont added that such a move could only be mandated by the Catalan parliament.

    "By removing me from the office Madrid will not undermine [the peoples'] will. There is not enough authority to close a huge polling station which Catalonia will turn into on October 1," Puigdemont said.

    The president of the autonomous region noted that if the majority of citizens voted to split from Spain, the independence would be proclaimed within the 48 hours following the announcement of the final results. The full implementation of the process would require elections and referendums on the constitution.

    A draft legislation, which would provide Catalan authorities the right to declare their region's independence from Spain two days post-referendum, was submitted to the Catalan parliament in early July.

    At the same time, the Constitutional Court of Spain recognized the articles of the Generalitat's budget which allocate funds for a planned referendum as being unconstitutional and subsequently suspended them. The articles were approved by the Catalan parliament in late March.

    Catalonia has been seeking independence from Spain for years. 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. However, the independence vote was ruled unconstitutional by Madrid.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    independence referendum, Spanish Constitutional Court, Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia, Spain
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