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Madrid lost PR battle, Catalonia sticks with referendum

Staff Writer |
Polls show that Catalonia is deeply divided over independence, but an overwhelming majority would like to vote in a legal referendum to settle the matter.

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The Constitutional Court has ruled it illegal though, hence why Madrid is trying to stop it.

"Authoritarian repression," "a violation of our basic rights," "the fall of democracy."

While these sound like accusations levelled at a dictatorship, they are in fact words used by Catalonia's separatist leader Carles Puigdemont to describe the Spanish government's crackdown on a banned independence referendum he wants to hold anyway on October 1.

These and other declarations have grabbed the headlines as Catalan separatist leaders multiply interviews and statements in an attempt to gain international support for a break with Spain.

Worried that it is being portrayed as the bad guy, Madrid went on the offensive just weeks before the planned vote, with foreign reporters invited to briefings with government figures to get their version of the story across.

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