Madrid is determined to prevent an independence vote it regards as illegal

Catalonia was tense this weekend ahead of an independence referendum that has divided Spain. At the final rally, the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, said the region was only one step away from independence. “We’ve got this far and we have until Sunday to win,” he told the crowd on Friday evening. “We have overcome an authoritarian state who didn’t want us to get to this point and above all didn’t want us to get here peacefully. But everything they have done has made us stronger.”

Madrid has declared Sunday’s referendum unconstitutional and vowed to prevent it taking place. The referendum’s organisers have called for resistance to the Spanish government to be peaceful.

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