Spanish PM Calls Catalonia Independence Referendum Illegitimate

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Spain’s Prime-Minister Mariano Rajoy during a meeting with a center-right party of Catalonia called a referendum on the independence of this region illegal.

“Neither Constitutional Court, nor other courts had supported the referendum on independence of Catalonia because it is illegal,” Rajoy was quoted as saying, EFE news agency reported.

Rajoy discussed the referendum issue with the Convergence and Union alliance representative Tuesday.

According to the center-right Convergence and Union, more than 80 per cent of Catalans wish to take part in referendum.

The party urges Rajoy to take demands of these people into consideration.

Spain’s prime minister has repeatedly opposed to the idea of Catalonia holding a referendum saying that it contradicted Spanish Constitution.

Earlier this month, the Spanish parliament held a seven-hour debate ultimately rejecting Catalonia’s bid to hold an independence referendum, with 299 lawmakers voting against, 47 in favor, and one abstention.

Catalan President Artur Mas of the Convergence and Union said that despite parliament’s decision he would continue to look for legal ways to hold the referendum this fall.

Catalonia accounts for a fifth of Spain’s economic output and many pro-referendum supporters say that breaking with the rest of Spain will grant more economic privileges to the residents of the region.

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