The leader of the Spanish region of Catalonia has set up a panel to supervise a contested independence referendum next month, despite the opposition of Spain’s central government, which has gone to the courts to block the vote.
Spain’s constitutional court said on Monday it would review the legality of the independence vote, effectively suspending it. José Manuel García-Margallo, Spain’s Foreign Minister, had previously told journalists that his government would use “all means necessary” to stop the planned referendum, currently scheduled for November 9.
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But Catalonia’s leaders, cognizant of the majority’s pro-independence stance, appear determined to push forward.
On Thursday evening, Catalan president Artur Mas appointed a seven-member committee to oversee the referendum ballot, the local government said in a statement.
And according to the BBC, Mas and the representatives of the four parliamentary groups that support self-determination on Friday “reiterated their intention to press ahead.”
Observers say independence-minded Catalans were energized by Scotland’s recent independence campaign. At a rally in September, demonstrators waved Scottish flags alongside the Estelada—an unofficial flag typically flown by Catalan separatists.
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