• Catalonia pushes ahead with independence plan


    BARCELONA: Catalonia is pushing ahead more slowly than expected with its independence plan as separatist leaders change tactics and avoid direct confrontation with Madrid in their bid to break away from Spain. After winning a parliamentary majority in a regional election in Catalonia in September, the pro-independence parties vowed to implement an 18-month roadmap for independence from Spain by 2017. The plan calls for the regional government to create basic laws, a tax system and state structure for the wealthy, industrialized northeastern region whose capital Barcelona is a major tourist draw.



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