22:37 GMT26 January 2020
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    Catalonia Leader Signs Independence Referendum Decree

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    The leader of Spain's Catalonia region, Artur Mas has signed a decree calling for a referendum on region's independence to be held on November 9.

    MOSCOW, September 27 (RIA Novosti) - The leader of Spain's Catalonia region, Artur Mas has signed a decree calling for a referendum on region's independence to be held on November 9.

    On September 19, the Catalan parliament approved a law authorizing the regional president to conduct a non-binding independence "consultation".

    Spanish central government has already made a request to the Constitutional Court to issue an injunction to halt the vote. If the court agrees to hear the case, Catalonia will not be allowed to proceed with the vote until a final decision is made.

    Catalonia is a Spanish region with a high level of cultural and political autonomy and its own regional parliament. It has a population of about 7.5 million people, and accounts for a quarter of Spanish taxes.

    Separatist tendencies have been fueled by the economic crisis in Europe, as this region recovered faster than the rest of the country and even helped the central government.

    Spanish government has repeatedly stressed that it will not recognize the results of the vote, which it considers illegal.

    Until recently, only few Catalans backed the independence, but amid economic crisis in Spain and lack of jobs, there has been a surge in support for separation.

    According to a recent Omnibus poll, 58.8 percent of Catalans strongly agree or somewhat agree that Catalonia should secede from Spain, while 31.9 percent answered that they are fairly opposed or totally opposed to living in an independent country.

    Tags:
    European Union, law, referendum, independence, Catalonia, Spain
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