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Thousands of Catalans call for choice on split from Spain

11/09/14 15:57 CET

Hundreds of thousands of Catalans have taken to the streets of Barcelona to demand the right to vote on separation from Spain.

Many are demonstrating to mark what they consider to be the 300th anniversary of the loss of Catalonia’s sovereignty.

Miquel Iceta, Secretary of Catalonia’s Socialist Party, told the crowd that they should have the right to decide their own future.

“We can’t continue this way, we need to find a new way of dealing with Madrid and finding a deal that we can put to the people of Catalonia,” he said.

“Today is the day to tell [Spanish Prime Minister] Mariano Rajoy that he is the one responsible for the enforcement of the law, and he is obliged to solve this problem, he can’t close his eyes to reality,” added Iceta.

Those supporting Catalonia’s independence have had their hopes boosted by surging support for Scotland to leave the United Kingdom.

The Catalan regional government, which has large degrees of autonomy within Spain, has called a referendum on November 9 over whether to separate.

But the government in Madrid says the vote is illegal and cannot go ahead.

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