Court freezes Catalonia symbolic vote on independence

Catalonia's regional government Tuesday said it would go ahead with a symbolic vote on independence from Spain next Sunday despite a Spain's Constitutional Court decision to suspend the move temporarily.

Madrid: Catalonia's regional government Tuesday said it would go ahead with a symbolic vote on independence from Spain next Sunday despite a Spain's Constitutional Court decision to suspend the move temporarily.

Catalan government spokesman Francesc Homs said "everything is ready" for the poll, which will be held to guarantee "freedom of expression".

The court Tuesday accepted an appeal by the central government against the vote, automatically suspending it while deliberations are underway.

The alternative vote was called by Catalonia's nationalist government after a non-binding referendum planned for Nov 9 was also suspended when the high tribunal accepted to consider an appeal branding it illegal.

Catalan President Artur Mas has defended the symbolic vote, described as a "citizen participation process", for which there are no voter rolls.

Catalonia, one of Spain's wealthiest regions, enjoys a high degree of autonomy but has often complained it pays more to state coffers than what it receives.

Nearly two million people took to the streets in Barcelona Sep 11, Catalonia's national holiday, to voice their support for a referendum on independence.

 

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