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700 Catalan mayors defiant over independence vote pressure

More than 700 mayors from Catalonia have met in Barcelona in a show of strength amid pressure from Spain's central government not to hold an independence referendum deemed illegal by the courts.

Political tensions in Spain are increasing as the proposed voting date of October 1 nears.

The Catalan government has been scrambling to press ahead with the vote, despite the central government's warnings that local municipalities are not allowed to use public buildings and mayors can be legally prosecuted for it.

Hundreds of mayors stood on Saturday next to regional President Carles Puigdemont and Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau.

Mr Puigdemont thanked them for not backing down and insisted that most Catalans are determined to press ahead with the referendum despite the ban.

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