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Tense countdown to Catalonia independence vote

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By Euronews
Tense countdown to Catalonia independence vote

<p>With just hours to go until their date with destiny, supporters of Catalan independence have staged a final rally ahead of this weekend’s banned referendum on breaking away from Spain.</p> <p>Central government has confiscated voting slips and other materials to try to halt a ballot it says is illegal, insisting it won’t go ahead.</p> <p>But the thousands who gathered in Barcelona for the end-of-campaign gathering on Friday night were defiant.</p> <p>“Today we won, because they did not know us and still don’t know us,” Catalonia’s regional leader Carles Puigdemont told the crowd.</p> <p>“They wanted us to surrender at the first sign of trouble, but they did not know that we, as a people that face difficulties, become stronger and this means to win.”</p> <p><br /> </p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Catalonia's case for independence is rooted in the region's history and culture, but only 41% are likely to vote yes <a href="https://t.co/yBf7fcUn7f">pic.twitter.com/yBf7fcUn7f</a></p>— The Economist (@TheEconomist) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheEconomist/status/913509985589579776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">28 septembre 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p><br /> </p> <p>Organisers say 60,000 people have registered to participate in a mass sleepover at schools being used for Sunday’s vote, despite police orders to evacuate polling stations by 6 a.m. on Sunday morning.</p> <p>With the two sides on collision course, tension is mounting. </p> <p><br /> </p> <p><em>with Reuters</em></p>