EU: We are OK with Catalonia's independence
Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the EU's European Commission, said that he would respect the results of a referendum.
Catalonia, in northeastern Spain, plans an October 1 referendum which has not yet been approved by Spain's Constitutional Court or Parliament. The region includes Barcelona, the seventh-largest EU city.
Despite warnings from the federal government in Madrid that the referendum contravenes the Spanish constitution, the referendum campaign was launched Thursday by pro-independence groups in Tarragona.
The rally came hours after Catalonia announced it would no longer sent monthly budget reports to the Spanish government.
The region, with a population of 7.5 million, is regarded by Spain as an autonomous community and its people a nationality, in recognition of the area's language and cultural distinctions.
The movement for independence has not been slowed by decrees from Madrid that referenda and other measures are illegal under Spanish law. ■