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Catalonia to pursue split from Spain despite court block

Source: Reuters - Fri 4th Dec 2015
Catalonia to pursue split from Spain despite court block

Catalonia's government will continue its drive for independence, its acting head said on Thursday, a day after Spain's Constitutional Court annulled a Catalan assembly resolution calling for a republic to be established within 18 months.

The court was ruling on an appeal by the Spanish government of PM Mariano Rajoy, who has said Catalonian independence is "nonsense" and will never happen.

But Acting Catalan President Artur Mas, who ran the Catalan government during years of national economic crisis that saw the independence movement swell, said the government of the wealthy northeastern region would stick to its plan.

"Legally, it is clear that the Catalan parliament's resolution is now annulled," he said in an interview with Cadena Ser radio.

"But politically, it is not, because the will of the parliament cannot be annulled and the will of the parliament reflects the will and the ideas of a significant part of the Catalonian population."

The Constitutional Court ruled that the resolution was unconstitutional and said the Catalan assembly could not establish itself as an independent legal and political power above the constitution.

Mas said he wanted to hold another referendum on secession; an informal vote held last year produced a result of 81% in favour, although the turnout was only around 40%.

Parties favouring a split from Spain won a majority of seats in the Catalan parliament in September, but fell just short of half the vote.

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