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Catalonia independence vote won't go ahead as planned

The head of Spain's Catalonia region Artur Mas on Tuesday said a referendum on independence from Spain will not go ahead as planned on Nov. 9 although another vote, a "consultation of citizens", will take place that day.

Mas said this new vote would be within the law and its results would be known on Nov. 10.

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The referendum was suspended last month by Spain's constitutional court, but the regional government of Catalonia had so far not announced a decision to abandon the planned vote.

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Catalonia, which accounts for around a fifth of Spain's economy, has its own language and distinct culture and has long fought for greater autonomy.

But the Spanish government has opposed the move because it contends no one group of Spaniards should make decisions on sovereignty that affect the whole country.

About half of Catalans want more independence from Spain and a vast majority favor holding a vote on their future, polls show.