The Spanish region of Catalonia is to call an election today which its government hopes will act as a proxy vote on independence. The Local reports that regional president Artur Mas will sign a decree that sets 27 September as Election Day in the hope that his new electoral alliance can win a majority allowing it to unilaterally declare independence from the rest of Spain. The Catalan government has already begun setting up institutions ready for independence, including a public credit institution that could become a central bank and potential tax agency. The move will be bitterly resisted by the Spanish government, with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy vowing “There will be no independence for Catalonia”. Several government ministers have raised the possibility of suspending Catalonia’s regional government in such an eventuality. However, with nationwide elections due by the end of the year and the governing conservatives looking set to lose
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