Catalonia's regional President Carles Puigdemont chairs an extraordinary meeting of the regional government at the Palau de la Generalitat, the regional government headquarters, in Barcelona, Spain, June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Albert Gea
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The leader of Spain's Catalonia region, where a separatist movement is in full swing, Friday announced an independence referendum for October 1 in defiance of Madrid which is firmly against such a vote.Separatist politicians in the northeastern region have tried for years to win approval from Spain's central government for a vote like Scotland's 2014 referendum on independence from Britain, which resulted in a "no" vote.In 2014, Catalonia held a non-binding vote under then president Artur Mas, in which more than 80 percent of those who cast a ballot chose independence, although just 2.3 million out of 6.3 million eligible voters took part.
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