BARCELONA, Spain – A day after Scotland rejected breaking away from Britain, the regional parliament in Spain's Catalonia is expected to grant its leader the power to call a secession referendum that the central government in Madrid says would be illegal.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed to prevent the Nov. 9 vote that separatist Catalans want to hold in the wealthy Mediterranean region of 7.5 million people.
Spain's constitution doesn't allow referendums that do not include all Spaniards and experts say Spain's Constitutional Court would rule the vote illegal.
The referendum in Catalonia wouldn't result in secession; it would ask Catalans whether they favor secession. If the answer is Yes, Catalan regional leader Artur Mas says that would give him a political mandate to negotiate a path toward independence.