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Spanish gov't seeks to block ballot over Catalonia "independence"

The Spanish government will seek to block in the Spanish Constitutional Court a watered-down version of the non-binding referendum over Catalonia's "independence" to be held on Nov. 9 in this northeastern region of Spain, local media reported on Saturday.

The announcement was made on Friday at the press conference following the Cabinet Meeting.

Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria emphasized that one of the main reasons to block the ballot was to protect Catalan civil servants so they are not forced to break the law, as according to the Spanish government, the ballot is against Spain's constitution.

Meanwhile, president of the regional government of Catalonia Artur Mas said that the government of Catalonia will continue organizing the ballot scheduled for Nov. 9 and announced the possibility of taking "legal action" against the Spanish government as he considers they are interfering with issues that are under the region's rule.

In September, the Constitutional Court temporarily suspended the non-binding referendum, which means that the referendum was temporarily suspended until the Court makes a definitive decision on the substance of the matter.

As a result, Mas proposed a watered-down version of the referendum without legal force, led by volunteers and supported by a large part of the local governments of Catalonia.

The Spanish government seeks to block this second attempt to hold a ballot.

[Source: Xinhua, Madrid, 01Nov14]

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