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Catalan leader seeks 'freedom' in snap election

Published on Nov 24, 2012 5:30 PM
 
Convergencia i Unio (CIU) party's candidate Artur Mas for Catalunya's regional government gestures during a meeting in Barcelona on Nov 23, 2012. The leader of Spain's Catalonia region has rallied cheering crowds to fight for "freedom" in snap elections on Sunday that he has recast as a vote for nationhood. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BARCELONA (AFP) - The leader of Spain's Catalonia region has rallied cheering crowds to fight for "freedom" in snap elections on Sunday that he has recast as a vote for nationhood.

Mr Artur Mas, president of the north-eastern region, is openly defying a furious Madrid by promising a referendum on sovereignty for Catalonia if Sunday's vote gives him a mandate.

"We are not vassals of the state," he told thousands of people chanting "independence" in a Barcelona stadium, wrapping up a bitterly fought campaign before a day of pre-vote reflection on Saturday.

Mr Mas urged supporters to be "builders of freedom".

 
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