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Catalan mayors defiant over independence vote pressure

Catalan mayors defiant over independence vote pressure”

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On Saturday, Catalan separatists and supporters of the region's right to hold a referendum on independence held a rally backing more than 700 mayors facing the threat of arrest.

The Catalan government plans to hold a referendum on self rule for the wealthy northeastern region on October 1, despite strong opposition from government which has challenged the vote in the Constitutional Court. Municipal mayors have been called in for questioning by prosecutors over the government's warnings that local municipalities are not allowed to use public buildings or funds to facilitate the vote. "That is why they try to maintain stability and calm down the economic market", Folch said.

Hundreds of mayors stood on Saturday next to regional President Carles Puigdemont and Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau. "It's a disgrace that we have a government that is incapable of dialogue and instead dedicates itself to pursuing and intimidating mayors and the media", Colau said.

Folch said that the European Union expressed its readiness to recognize the results of Catalonia's upcoming independence referendum to calm down the financial market, as the bloc is afraid of economic instability which might be caused by the region's splitting from Spain.

The Scottish government lent its support to the Catalan referendum.

Commenting on the ongoing dispute, Scotland's External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "The decision over Catalonia's future direction is a matter for the people who live there".

All of this is just adding to the determination among Catalonians to see a referendum take place, and the central government's hostility is likely pushing more people into the leave camp all the time.

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