The president of the regional government in Catalonia said Thursday that a deal had been reached to hold a referendum on becoming an independent country next year, but his comments were immediately rejected by Spain.
Artur Mas said said a deal reached among pro-independence groups would allow for a referendum in November asking voters if they want Catalonia a country independent from Spain. But it was quickly shot down. “The poll will not be held, Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon told reporters soon after Mas publicized the agreement, BBC reports.
The Spanish constitution mandates that only the central government in Madrid can call for a referendum. Even as the economic crisis has fueled nationalism across Catalonia, polls show its 7.5 million people are evenly split on the issue.
Mas has been pushing for a referendum since last year, after he failed to…
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