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Spanish Parliament Reject Catalonia Independence Referendum

Spanish lawmakers have rejected a request by the northeastern region of Catalonia for permission to hold a referendum on independence.

After a seven-hour debate in the national parliament in Madrid on April 8, 299 lawmakers voted against, 47 voted for and one abstained.

The Spanish government said the vote supported its argument that a Catalan referendum on independence would violate the constitution.

Catalan nationalists say they will still push ahead with a ballot in November.

Catalan lawmakers said the movement had already gained too much momentum to stop the referendum completely.

Commentators say there is heavy support for the separatist movement in the wealthy northeastern region.

Catalonia has its own language and a long history of fighting for greater autonomy from Spain.

Based on Reuters and AFP reporting