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Catalan President Raises Stakes in His Push for Independence

  • ‘We will never surrender,’ Puigdemont tells Madrid audience
  • Catalan coalition has drafted transitional independence bill
Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia's president, pauses during an interview at the Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona on Feb. 4. 2016.

Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia's president, pauses during an interview at the Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona on Feb. 4. 2016.

Photographer: Pau Barrena/Bloomberg

Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont pledged to go ahead with plans to hold an independence referendum that are opposed by the Spanish government in Madrid.

“We will never surrender in our intention of allowing Catalans to vote,” Puigdemont said in a rare speech in Madrid’s city hall Monday. “If there isn’t an agreed proposal due to the lack of will of the Spanish government, the commitment of the Catalan government is democratically inviolable.”