Million defiant Catalans vote on breakaway from Spain

A man casts his ballot at a polling station in Barcelona on November 9, 2014, during a symbolic vote on independence of Catalonia from SpainMore than a million Catalans turned out Sunday to vote on independence from Spain in a symbolic ballot, defying challenges from the Spanish government. Voters of all ages lined up around the block, some applauding, as polling stations opened after weeks of tense legal wrangling with Spanish authorities. In one of Spain’s richest but most indebted regions, a long-standing yearning for independence has swelled over recent years as recession and political corruption scandals have shaken Spain. “This is an opportunity we could not miss…. We have been demanding it for a very long time,” said Martin Arbaizar, 16, queueing to vote in a school in Barcelona.

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