Catalan authorities report an overwhelming majority voted to leave Spain in the independence referendum, with 90 per cent of the over two million votes counted saying “yes”. Around 80% of polling stations managed to stay open.
Barcelona says around 2.26m people cast a ballot in the banned referendum despite the Civil Guard’s violent attempts to stop them.
This represents a turnout of about 42.3 per cent of Catalonia’s electorate of 5.34 million people.
The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, has welcomed the preliminary results.
He pressed ahead with the referendum despite opposition from the Spanish state and the region’s own high court.
Photo: Catalan Authorities Report 90% Voted To Leave Spain
At least 844 people have been injured in a day of violence which saw police in riot gear firing rubber bullets at crowds and beating people who attempted to cast their votes.
The Spanish government has said the referendum was illegal and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy defiantly told reporters “there was no independence referendum today”.
He claimed the Catalan people have been tricked into taking part in an illegal vote accused the regional government of using the referendum as a strategy against legality and democratic harmony and was a “path that leads to nowhere”.