MOSCOW, (Sputnik) – The recent terrorist attacks in the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia will not have an impact on the regional government’s plan to hold a referendum on independence from Spain, local media reported Friday, citing Catalan President Carles Puigdemont.
On Thursday and early Friday, Barcelona and Cambrils in Catalonia were hit by two van ramming attacks, which have killed 15 people and left over 130 more injured. The Islamic State (IS, banned in Russia) terror group has claimed responsibility for Barcelona attack.
Puigdemont told the Onda Cero radio station that the issue of terrorist attacks should not be confused with the Catalan public’s “priority” matters, such as the vote on independence, as quoted by the El Pais newspaper.
Catalonia has been seeking independence from Spain for years. On November 9, 2014, about 80 percent of the Catalans who took part in a non-binding referendum on the region’s status as part of Spain voted in favor of Catalonia becoming an independent state. The vote was, however, ruled unconstitutional by Madrid authorities.
On June 9, Puigdemont said that Catalonia would hold a unilateral referendum on independence on October 1, 2017.