Catalonia's parliament approved independence referendum

Catalonia's parliament approved independence referendumThe referendum it set to take place next September, DW.

One of Spain's richest regions voted to hold an independence referendum on Thursday amid Madrid's disapproval and claims Catalonia has no legal ground for full autonomy.

The Catalonian parliament's intent to pursue independence invoked another hitch between acting Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Catalan separatists.

Regional president Carles Puigdemont said last week that he was still up for negotiating whether the referendum would be legally binding or not, but that he would hold it with or without Madrid's permission.

Puigdemont is riding a wave of support after a comfortably winning a parliamentary confidence vote last Thursday meant to shore up approval for the independence movement.

According to recent polls, around 48 % of Catalans support secession, though that number is down a few percentage points from a few years ago.
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