A REGIONAL government spokeswoman in Catalunya says the independence referendum will be held in the second half of September, but will 'wait for a clear response' from central government president Mariano Rajoy before confirming the exact date.
Rajoy has been called to a conference in Catalunya led by its president, Carles Puigdemont in an attempt to 'discuss' and 'if possible, reach an agreement' – but Rajoy has not yet confirmed whether he will attend, and it is likely he will refuse.
Spain's central government has long refused to even approach the subject of a referendum and simply said it is not allowed, 'end of conversation'.
This has merely served to incense the population of Catalunya, to increase support for secession and lead to even those who are not in favour of independence to push for a public vote.
And even if Rajoy does go to the conference, it seems very unlikely his categoric 'no' and refusal to discuss the matter will change.
But Catalunya's government spokeswoman Neus Munté says the referendum will go ahead in the second half of September whether Madrid agrees to it or not.
Puigdemont has said there is no sense in setting an exact date until the conference, and stresses he wants to 'make a formal offer to negotiate' Catalunya's position with the central government first.
But even if he does not get an agreement, the referendum will still go ahead after the summer, with the date to be announced 'before the holidays', Puigdemont says.
Spain's government has persistently refused to put the secession issue to vote, since the country's Constitution – drawn up in 1978 at the end of Franco's fascist dictatorship – does not allow for it.
But those in support of Catalunya's 'right to decide' point out that society, law and culture has changed drastically in 39 years and that a Magna Carta drafted following the swansong of a dictatorship that started before the second World War should have been updated long ago.