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Catalan government axes pro-independence ads

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Catalan government axes pro-independence ads
The President of Catalonia, Artur Mas on Tuesday. Photo: Quique García/AFP
14:45 CEST+02:00
Catalonia's regional government halted a publicity campaign to inform voters about a November independence referendum on Tuesday, a day after Spain's Constitutional Court suspended the vote.

Catalan government spokesman Francesc Homs said the campaign was stopped to "not put the backs of (Catalan public workers) against the wall" but he stressed Catalonia was "determined" to hold the vote, despite the fierce opposition of Spain's central government.

"We are in a context where nothing is done. Our goal is to continue and we will do things to fulfill our commitments in conformity with the law," he told a news conference.

"We can't give the signal that we have given up," he added.

The Catalan government launched a publicity campaign to inform voters about the referendum after Catalan president Artur Mas on Saturday signed a decree calling for the vote to be held on November 9th.

A website dedicated to the vote which includes a downloadable ballot paper, however, remained online on Tuesday afternoon at 3pm.   

On Monday, Spain's Constitutional Court temporarily halted the non-binding referendum following a request from Spain's central government that it declare the vote unconstitutional.

The court's unanimous decision to hear the government's case triggered the automatic suspension of the independence referendum until judges hear arguments and make a decision.

The Catalan branch of Spain's ruling conservative Popular Party had threatened to file a complaint against the Catalan government for misappropriation of public funds if it did not stop its referendum publicity campaign.

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