Thousands of residents in Madrid, opposed to Sunday’s planned referendum on Catalonian independence, have held their own mock vote.
Under the slogan “the referendum of everybody” Hazte Oir, an organisation aimed at promoting public democracy, asked citizens to vote whether they want Catalonia to remain in Spain.
Its leader, Ignacio Arsuaga, said: “Madrid residents are voting in a referendum that has no democratic guarantees just like the referendum that seems to be going ahead on Sunday in Catalonia. According to polls it looks like people will vote for Catalonia to remain in Spain.”
Most people who voted did so for the same reasons. “We came here to vote for the unity of Spain,” said local resident, Juan. “You can’t destroy more than five centuries of history and the unity of Spain. You can’t break it from one day to another.”
Spain’s government insists that Catalonia’s independence vote, scheduled for October the first, will not go ahead.
But Catalan authorities say they will declare independence within 48 hours if they secure a “yes” vote.