The Australian. Catalan leader seeks ‘freedom’ in election. 24.11.2012
Catalan leader seeks ‘freedom’ in election.
THE leader of Spain’s Catalonia region has rallied crowds cheering for independence to fight for “freedom” in snap elections he has cast as a vote for nationhood.
Artur Mas, president of the northeastern region, is openly defying a furious Madrid by promising a referendum on sovereignty for Catalonia if Sunday’s vote gives him a mandate.
“We are not vassals of the state,” he told thousands of people chanting “independence” in a Barcelona stadium on Friday, wrapping up a bitterly fought campaign before a day of pre-vote reflection on Saturday.
Mas urged supporters to be “builders of freedom”.
“Catalonia is one of the oldest nations of Europe and all through history we have had to fight against very high obstacles, very strong setbacks,” he said, slipping into English to reach a foreign audience.
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