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Catalan Leader Slams Lawsuit over Breakaway Vote

Catalonia's president Artur Mas Wednesday accused the Spanish government of suing him because its "pride was hurt" by his bids to let his region vote on independence from Spain.

A court on Tuesday summoned Mas to face possible charges for holding a 2014 symbolic ballot on Catalan independence, which is fiercely opposed by Madrid.

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Court Summons Pressures Catalan Separatist Leader

A court on Tuesday summoned Catalonia's president to face possible charges over a 2014 ballot on independence from Spain, raising pressure on separatists after they won control of their regional parliament.

The move by the Catalonia high court came as a bitter standoff between Artur Mas and the Spanish government deepened after he and his separatist allies declared victory in Sunday's regional election.

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Catalan Vote Deepens Political Standoff in Spain

Separatists in Catalonia vowed Monday to push on for independence from Spain after winning control of their regional parliament, but the Spanish government promised to keep the country united.

Raul Romeva, the lead candidate in the main pro-independence list, said his Together For Yes alliance along with the radical left-wing group CUP "have a majority which totally legitimizes initializing the process" towards declaring independence.

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'Invincible! Invincible!': Catalan Separatists Celebrate Poll Win

Catalan separatists danced as speakers blasted "Invincible! Invincible!" after pro-independence groups won a regional election framed as a referendum on independence from Spain.

"I can't believe it, my heart is racing!" said Claudia Cardona after a giant TV screen set up in a central Barcelona square announced the win.

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Basque Country Head Also Wants Referendum on Ties to Spain

The head of Spain's Basque Country said Sunday he wants to a hold a "legal consultation" on the northern region's future within Spain, as Catalonia voted in a regional election centered on independence.

"I believe in the possibility of a legal and negotiated consultation," Basque Country premier Inigo Urkullu told a rally of his Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) in the town of Foronda.

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Separatists Win Absolute Majority of Seats in Catalan Vote

Separatists pushing to make Catalonia independent from Spain were on track to win an absolute majority of parliamentary seats in a regional election on Sunday, an exit poll showed.

A poll released by Catalan television channel TV3 gave pro-independence parties between 74 and 79 seats out of a total 135.

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Artur Mas: Catalonia's Unlikely Independence Champion

Catalonia's leader Artur Mas admits that he was not always a nationalist. But now he is pledging his political life to the cause of making his region independent from Spain.

Observers wonder at how a moderate conservative, upper middle-class economist came to court the wrath of Spain by trying to break its richest region away from it.

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Spain Intercepts Boat with 32 Migrants

A Spanish coast guard ship rescued 32 African migrants from a boat off the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, officials said Friday.

It was the latest in a string of arrivals that suggest the Canary Islands are regaining popularity as an entry point for migrants trying to reach Europe.

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Spain PM Speaks Catalan as Key Vote Campaign Wraps Up

Spain's prime minister made a rare declaration in Catalan on Friday as campaigning wrapped up for a vote that nationalists hope will set Catalonia on the road to independence from Spain.

On the last day of the fiercely-fought campaigns for Sunday's vote, Mariano Rajoy appeared in a video appealing to voters in the rich northeastern region to stay with Spain.

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Madrid Tells Catalans they Would 'Lose Nationality' if they Secede

Catalans would lose their Spanish nationality if their region becomes independent, Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo warned Wednesday, four days ahead of an election framed as an indirect vote on secession.

Nationalist leaders of the wealthy northeastern region have vowed to declare Catalonia independent as early as within 18 months if they win a majority of seats in the regional assembly in Sunday's polls.

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