Catalonia to hold independence vote days after Kurdistan's referendum

Poll: Spain Could Lose Major Region Within A Month

The referendum law establishes an "exceptional judicial regime" that will prevail over any Spanish laws that come into conflict with the illegal independence referendum, and states it will safeguard those who participate in the vote.

In addition, a Spanish audit office has demanded the former leader of Catalonia, Artur Mas, and other politicians pay a $6 million (5 million euro) fine by September 25 for holding the 2014 vote, El Pais newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The details of the referendum, which would pose the question "Do you want Catalonia to be an independent republic?" to all Spanish citizens living in Catalonia, were revealed amid a tense atmosphere in the 135-seat regional parliament.

There will be no minimum turnout requirement to make the result of the referendum binding, Puigdemont said in a recent briefing.

Catalan regional President Carles Puigdemont was the last official to sign the document late Wednesday.

"Today's session has been an embarrassing show, a kick to democracy", Saenz de Santamaria has said in a televised press conference.

The cabinet of Catalan President Carles Puigdemont was expected to immediately sign a decree setting the vote for October 1 and opening a deep political and institutional crisis.

But a referendum in defiance of Spain's rule of law, without the blessing of central authorities, has inflamed controversy.

Predicted XI for World Cup qualifier against Malta
Former Scotland hero and ex-Celtic boss Strachan roared "bring it on" after watching Scotland win two games on the bounce. He said: "The Slovakia game will be massive now, hopefully the fans come out and support us".

"Be very clear that you will not split up Spain, but you are breaking up Catalonia", Mr Alejandro Fernandez of the ruling People's Party (PP) told pro-independence lawmakers. The opposition claimed the legislative chamber was violating lawmakers' rights, and the socialist group announced it was lodging an appeal in Spain's Constitutional Court. "They [the supporters of Catalonia's independence] have demonstrated that they do not respect either Catalonia or the Catalans", Santamaria said.

The referendum, planned for October 1, would not be recognized by Spain's central authorities, who have vowed to use all legal measures to stop it.

The return to solid growth has weakened public backing for independence, although polls show that nearly eight out of 10 Catalans want to have the right to vote.

The vote in parliament is expected to ratify the bill late on Wednesday as the government has a majority made up of the separatist Junts pel Si (Together for Yes) coalition and the left-wing CUP party. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed to use all legal measures to ensure that it doesn't take place.

In 2014, months after Scotland voted to stay in the United Kingdom, pro-independence campaigners staged a symbolic ballot, organised by volunteers rather than government officials to get around court restrictions.

The region has pushed for a legitimate referendum for years.

Opponents of independence for the wealthy northeastern region of Spain greeted the decision with jeers.

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