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Catalan separatists ready to declare unilateral independence

Catalonia, which is home to about 7.5 million people, accounts for a fifth of Spain's output and has an economy roughly the size of Portugal'sCatalan separatists said they were ready to declare unilateral independence if Madrid attempted to block a separation process they hope to launch if successful in September’s regional elections. Spain’s conservative national government fiercely opposes independence for the rich northeastern region of Catalonia, which wants to follow Scotland’s example by voting on its political future. An alliance of pro-separatist parties want the regional vote to serve as a de facto referendum by running on a joint ticket, campaigning on the single issue of independence.

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