Catalan mayors defy Spain's government over independence vote
17 September, 2017, 12:09 | Author: Valerie Burke
More than 700 mayors from Catalonia have met in Barcelona in a show of strength amid pressure from Spain's central government not to hold an independence referendum deemed illegal by the courts.
SNP ministers have given their support to Catalonian separatists who are banned from holding an independence referendum.
Brandishing ir solemn stick of mayor, councillors gared at headquarters of regional government have sung anm in catalan, Els segadors, while a crowd of protesters, often with flags of independence movements, shouting from outside: "We are with you".
Earlier, Spain's Constitutional Court suspended legislation passed in the Catalan parliament which paved the way for the vote.
Madrid has pulled out all stops to prevent the Catalan referendum from going forward, including threatening to arrest mayors who facilitate the vote, ordering police to seize any item that could be used for the plebiscite and tightening control over the region's finances. "That is why they try to maintain stability and calm down the economic market", Folch said.
So far, 740 of 948 municipal leaders have said they would allow municipal spaces to be used for the referendum, according to the Association for Municipalities for Independence (AMI).
Ana Colau, mayor of left side of Barcelona, a city of 1.6 million inhabitants, where secessionists are a minority, expressed Saturday its "solidarity" with mayors pro-referendum by receiving m at hotel de ville.
"We will not be intimidated".
On Saturday, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called for a return to "rationality and legality" and promised to block the vote.
According to July poll, only 41 percent of Catalans favor independence but almost 70 want a vote.
Scotland's External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "All peoples have the right to self-determination and to choose the form of government best suited to their needs, a principle which is enshrined in the UN Charter".
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