Spanish court says Catalonia sovereignty claim illegal

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Spain's Constitutional Court on Tuesday partially struck down a sovereignty claim approved by lawmakers last year in the northern region of Catalonia, a vital step toward a referendum on full independence, court papers showed. In January 2013, Catalonia's regional parliament unanimously adopted a declaration of self-determination saying the people had the right to vote on breaking away from the rest of Spain. The Madrid court declared "null and unconstitutional" the first point in the Catalan ruling which said the people of the region had the legal right to infringe the Spanish constitution. Catalan President Artur Mas has promised to hold a referendum on secession from Spain on November 9, saying Catalonia should be a separate state within the European Union and the euro zone.