Catalonia’s regional leader is pressing ahead with plans for an independence referendum on October 1, defying pressure from Madrid to abandon the illegal ballot.
Spanish authorities have moved to halt the vote with arrests of officials involved in organising it and raids that have seen the seizure of some 10 million voting slips.
But Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont is defiant.
“The referendum we have called will take place on October 1st… because we have contingency plans in place to ensure it will go ahead,” Puigdemont said on Thursday.
He said that the main reason the referendum would go ahead is because it is supported by the vast majority of the population who are sick of the “arrogance and abuses” of Spain’s conservative People’s Party government.”
VIDEO: Angry protests break out in Barcelona as police detain Catalan officials https://t.co/xSUNw3fisI pic.twitter.com/C0LYKlc5a6— The Local Spain (@TheLocalSpain) 20 septembre 2017
A court ruling outlawed the vote after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said it violated the 1978 constitution, which states the country is indivisible. Most opposition parties are also against the vote.