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President of Catalonia announces date for independence referendum

Carles Puigdemont made the announcement on Friday morning.
Carles Puigdemont made the announcement on Friday morning. / AFP
  • "Do you want Catalonia to be a independent State in the form of a republic?" the region's population will be asked on 1 October

Catalonia now has a date and a question for its independence referendum, despite the refusal of the Spanish government to authorise the vote. Carles Puigdemont, the president of the regional government (Generalitat), solemnly announced on Friday morning that the referendum, which aims to be binding and with full democratic guarantees, would take place on 1 October.

The Catalonian government will call its 5.5 million-strong electorate to the polls to answer the following question: "Do you want Catalonia to be an independent State in the form of a republic?"

The announcement comes in defiance of Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy's refusal to authorise a referendum or to discuss independence.

Puigdemont has promised to implement the result of the referendum, which his government would treat as "mandate". "It's the turn of the people of Catalonia to decide their future. It is in their hands to make it possible," he said on Friday morning.