Artur Mas, the leader of Spain’s wealthy northeast region, opposed the country’s central government in Madrid on Saturday and formally called for a referendum on independence.

The Guardian reports:

Mas’s signature on a decree allowing the vote to go forward came one week after the Catalan parliament passed a law paving the way for non-binding consultations in the region. As the solemn signing ceremony took place yesterday yesterday morning, government officials crowded around the document, excitedly snapping photographs on their mobile phones.

“Catalonia has the right to decide its political future,” said Mas. “We know that democracy is the most civilised way to resolve difficulties between nations.” The 9 November referendum would see two questions put to Catalans: whether Catalonia should be a state and, if so, whether it should be an independent state.

The central government has repeatedly insisted that any regional vote on independence would be illegal, pointing out that the country’s 1978 constitution means major questions must be put to all Spaniards and that only they can call a referendum. Barcelona, in turn, asserts that the non-binding nature of its regional vote allows it to take place within the legal confines of the constitution.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

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