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Poll: Spain Could Lose Major Region Within A Month

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

Half of Catalonians support independence from Spain with a month to go before the region hopes to hold a referendum on the issue, according to a poll released Sunday by El Espanol.

The poll shows 50.1 percent’s support for independence, with 45.7 percent rejecting secession from Spain. Just 4.2 percent declined to pick a side ahead of the planned Oct. 1 referendum.

The authors of the survey note that the deadly terror attack Aug. 17 in Barcelona, the region’s largest city, enhanced separatist feelings among Catalonians.

The region has pushed for a legitimate referendum for years. An 80 percent majority backed independence in a symbolic referendum in 2014, which the federal government ruled unconstitutional. Three former officials, including the former Catalan President Artur Mas, were barred from holding public office as a result.

Spain’s national government strictly opposes the referendum, and has threatened to suspend the figures behind the vote if they go ahead with their plans. Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said Sunday that he won’t accept a suspension if the government attempts to remove him.

“The circumstances under which one ceases to be head of the Catalan regional government are regulated by Catalonia’s autonomy statute, so we should oppose a suspension of this type,” Puigdemont said, according to The Local.

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