Catalan parliament paves way for referendum on independence


Symbolic declaration stating region is sovereign entity sets up potential showdown with central government in Madrid

The parliament of Spain’s powerful north-eastern region of Catalonia has approved a largely symbolic declaration stating the region is a sovereign entity, paving the way for a referendum on independence from Spain.

The proposal was carried Wednesday by 85 votes in favour, with 41 against and two abstentions.

Though symbolic, the declaration sets up a potential showdown with the central government in Madrid, which has said it will block any move toward Catalan independence in the courts.

The declaration was backed by the region’s governing Convergence and Union group and the Republican Left. It was opposed by the Catalan Socialist party and the Popular party that governs Spain.

Polls show Catalans are evenly divided over independence, but a majority opposes it if it means exiting the EU.

Read @ The Guardian