More than 80 percent of Catalonia voters who defied Spain and took part in a referendum Sunday voted for independence, and the region’s nationalist government vowed to step up its secession drive following the results, even though the event was only symbolic. The vote “made it very clear that we want to govern ourselves,” said Catalan government chief Artur Mas. The central government, however, dismissed the referendum as “fruitless and useless.” Voters were asked two questions: whether they wanted Catalonia to be a state, and whether that state should be independent. Mas said his government will now push to hold an official referendum and will seek international help to persuade the Spanish government to let it proceed.
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