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Catalonia referendum bid rejected

The Spanish Parliament has overwhelmingly rejected plans by the powerful north-eastern Catalonia region to hold a referendum on whether it should become independent or remain part of Spain.

A motion rejecting the referendum was approved today by 272 MPs from the country's mainstream parties against 43 votes from Catalonian nationalist groups and some leftist politicians.

It calls on the government to ensure compliance with the law and the constitution, under which only the central government can call a referendum.

The Barcelona-based regional government of Catalonia plans to hold the referendum on November 9 but the Spanish government has made it clear it won't be allowed.

Polls indicate that Catalans are roughly evenly split on independence.

AP

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