The people of Catalonia, an autonomous region in southeast Spain, are scheduled to vote on an independence referendum on Oct. 1, deciding whether to stay in Spain or become an independent region.
The referendum is expected to further strain the relationship between Catalonia and the country’s central government, which sees the vote as illegal.
The Spanish government in Madrid has said this referendum violates their constitution. On Sept 8, Spain’s constitutional court suspended the October 1st referendum after agreeing to review an appeal from Madrid.
Speaking at news conference after White House talks with U.S. President Trump, Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, said the situation is “just crazy.”
Nonetheless, the Catalan government confirmed the vote would still take place. The region is very wealthy, having contributed 20 percent to Spain’s GDP in 2015.
However, the region’s government believes that Spain has failed to in incorporating Catalonia’s autonomy into the country’s political setup.
The Spanish government has been actively trying to squash the referendum. But millions of Catalans are hoping this referendum could restore sovereignty for them.