AFTER hours of bitter wrangling and disagreement about the legality of any vote, the Catalan referendum bill was approved last night.
Points of law were reportedly ignored and when the vote was called, deputies representing the Popular Party, PSOE and Ciudadanos walked from the chamber leaving the pro-referendum deputies and Podemos to vote.
With the Podemos party abstaining, the vote was carried by 72 to nil and within minutes Catalan First Minister Carles Puigdemont signed the document passing the Referendum Bill into law and this was supported by the local council of ministers and published in the official Catalan gazette.
The referendum on the matter of secession from Spain is now due to be held on October 1 despite the fact that the government of Mariano Rajoy protests that it is illegal.
In what is expected to be a show of solidarity, Prime Minister Rajoy is due to meet with the leaders of the PSOE (Pedro Sánchez) and Ciudadanos (Albert Rivera) parties today to discuss a response to the news of the Catalan vote.