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EU: We are OK with Catalonia's independence

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Staff Writer | September 15, 2017
The chief of the European Union told Spain's community of Catalonia, readying an independence referendum, that its decision would be respected by the EU.
Europe   In northeastern Spain
Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the EU's European Commission, said that he would respect the results of a referendum.

Catalonia, in northeastern Spain, plans an October 1 referendum which has not yet been approved by Spain's Constitutional Court or Parliament. The region includes Barcelona, the seventh-largest EU city.

Despite warnings from the federal government in Madrid that the referendum contravenes the Spanish constitution, the referendum campaign was launched Thursday by pro-independence groups in Tarragona.

The rally came hours after Catalonia announced it would no longer sent monthly budget reports to the Spanish government.

The region, with a population of 7.5 million, is regarded by Spain as an autonomous community and its people a nationality, in recognition of the area's language and cultural distinctions.

The movement for independence has not been slowed by decrees from Madrid that referenda and other measures are illegal under Spanish law.