The Spanish government has vowed to block a bid by Catalonia’s regional leaders to hold an independence referendum for the region.
According to the reports, dismissing the referendum bid as unconstitutional, Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said on Saturday that the Spanish government would not allow Catalonia to hold an independence vote.
No one is “above the national will of all Spaniards,” said Saenz de Santamaria during a press conference, adding, “This referendum will not take place because it is unconstitutional.”
The development came shortly after Catalonia’s regional President Artur Mas declared November 9 as the date for holding the referendum in defiance of the central government in Spain’s capital of Madrid.
Mas had pledged earlier on Saturday to allow Catalans to vote on autonomy for the region while promising to respect Spanish law.
“Catalonia wants to speak, wants to be heard, wants to vote. Now is the right time and we have the right legal framework to do so,” Mas said.
“As all the nations in the world, Catalonia has the right to decide its political future…. We believe that political issues must be resolved by negotiation and civilized attitudes. And we know that democracy is the most civilized way to resolve difficulties between nations,” he added.
This is while Catalonia’s regional parliament has passed a law that authorizes Catalan leaders to hold a non-binding consultation on independence.