Over 700 mayors from Catalonia, Spain’s autonomous region, have backed the proposal to hold an independence referendum on Oct. 1, which the central government in Madrid had declared as illegal, Conservative Tribune reports.
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who vowed to block the vote, on Saturday urged everyone for a return to “rationality and legality.”
The country’s constitutional court also already declared the referendum as illegal and Spanish authorities have threatened to arrest any of the Catalan mayors who participate or enable the vote to proceed.
Catalonia’s President Carles Puigdemont and other officials of the region including Barcelona’s mayor released a statement appealing for an agreement on a referendum and calling for new dialogue without preconditions.
A total of 740 of 948 Catalan mayors have pledged that they would allow municipal spaces to be used for the referendum proceedings.
In response, Spanish prosecutors had summoned the municipal leaders and threatened them with arrest if they do not respond to the order.