Catalan leader Quim Torra demands independence referendum days before street protests

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SPEAKING OUT: Quim Torra continues to campaign for his cause. Credit: Richard Maenpaa/Flickr

CATALAN President Quim Torra has renewed calls for the Spanish government to accept a referendum on independence.

The move comes two days before separatist protesters take to the streets in the first of several major demonstrations.

Recent months have seen an easing of tensions between the secessionist Catalan government and Madrid, but Torra has also repeated demands for charges to be dropped against nine separatist leaders.

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The leaders are accused of various crimes including the serious charge of rebellion for their role in last year’s banned referendum.

The trial could begin as early as October, putting further pressure on Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez as he seeks a resolution to the crisis.

Hundreds of thousands of Catalan independence supporters are expected to march in Barcelona on September 11.

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