Spanish govt seeks to block ballot over Catalonia independence

Madrid: The Spanish government will seek to block in the Spanish Constitutional Court a watered-down version of the non-binding referendum over Catalonia's "independence" to be held Nov 9 in this northeastern region of Spain, media reports said Saturday.

IANS| Updated: Nov 02, 2014, 06:22 AM IST

Madrid: The Spanish government will seek to block in the Spanish Constitutional Court a watered-down version of the non-binding referendum over Catalonia's "independence" to be held Nov 9 in this northeastern region of Spain, media reports said Saturday.

The announcement was made Friday at the press conference following the cabinet meeting, Xinhua reported.

Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria emphasised that one of the main reasons to block the ballot was to protect Catalan civil servants so they are not forced to break the law, as according to the Spanish government, the ballot is against Spain's constitution.

Meanwhile, president of the regional government of Catalonia Artur Mas said the government of Catalonia will continue organising the ballot scheduled for Nov 9 and announced the possibility of taking "legal action" against the Spanish government as he considers they are interfering with issues that are under the region's rule.

In September, the Constitutional Court temporarily suspended the non-binding referendum, which means that the referendum was temporarily suspended until the court makes a definitive decision on the substance of the matter.

As a result, Mas proposed a watered-down version of the referendum without legal force, led by volunteers and supported by a large part of the local governments of Catalonia.

The Spanish government seeks to block this second attempt to hold a ballot.