Catalonia leader vows 2017 referendum on Spain independence – BBC News
The president of Catalonia [Catalunya] vows to hold a referendum on independence in 2017.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont promised a “legal and binding” vote in his televised New Year’s speech.
A consultative ballot in 2014, which recorded a large majority for independence, was ignored by Spain.
Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy has again ruled out the possibility of a referendum.
Embracing Spain’s second city, Barcelona, Catalonia is one of the country’s richest regions.
Separatist sentiment has built into a mass movement over the past five years, promoting a distinct Catalan identity which goes back centuries.
In his video address (in Catalan), Mr Puigdemont said: “We Catalans will freely decide our own future through a legal and binding referendum.”