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Spain: Voting begins in Catalonia 'independence' ballot

Spain: Voting begins in Catalonia 'independence' ballot
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Voting is underway in Catalonia’s informal referendum on a breakaway from Spain.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to back independence in a so-called “consultation of citizens” which is not legally binding.

Authorities in the northeastern region opted to hold the symbolic poll after plans for a more formal vote were blocked by Spain’s Constitutional Court.

Madrid says the vote carries no weight; Catalan nationalists insist it can’t be ignored.