MADRID : The president of Spain’s Catalonia region on Sunday said he would formally call ‘in the next days’ for a vote on independence from Spain which has been scheduled for Nov. 9.

The Catalan parliament passed a law on Friday enabling regional head Artur Mas to call such a vote, though the Spanish government has said it would violate the Spanish constitution and has pledged to block it in the courts. ‘The law will be used this week, in the next days, to call for the Nov. 9 vote,’ Mas said at an event in the Catalan city of Cardona. His remarks were broadcast by Spain’s state-owned television. With its own language and culture, and a long-standing pro-independence movement that has gathered momentum during recent years of economic hardship, Catalonia has sought a referendum on independence similar to the one held in Scotland on Thursday.

Moreover, the Catalan regional government was due to pass a bill later on Friday giving Mas the power to call a non-binding referendum. Mas said he would sign it and would hold the vote on Nov 9. A late surge in polls for Scottish independence had galvanised supporters of secession for Catalonia, and many expressed disappointment that Scots had ultimately held back.

‘As a Catalan, I would have liked to have seen a ‘yes’ for independence, because it would have been a boost for us,’ said Jordi Prosa, a 54-year-old business administrator in Barcelona. Nevertheless, others seized on the enthusiastic Scottish vote as proof that whatever the outcome, regions should be permitted to choose their own future. ‘What is clear here is that people want to vote,’ said Josep Roda, a 55-year-old lawyer. ‘Scotland is a good example of allowing people to express their opinion.’

Madrid’s refusal to grant a referendum has angered many Catalans, even some who favour continued union with Spain. Hundreds of thousands of people marched last week in the streets of Barcelona for the right to hold a referendum. Polls show around 80 percent of people in the region of 7.5 million want a say on secession. The Scottish ‘no’ vote caused yields on Spanish bonds to tighten as investors saw it taking momentum away from Catalan secessionists and reducing risk. Yields bounced off Friday’s lows after Mas’s defiant comments.

Prime Minister Rajoy said the Scots’ ‘no’ was the best outcome ‘for themselves, for all of Britain and for the rest of Europe‘. Opposition leader Sanchez said the outcome held lessons for Spain: ‘Scots have chosen self-government, the strengthening of their institutions and of their links with the United Kingdom, and that’s the read-through that should be made in Spain.’

Announcing the referendum date puts Mas on a tricky path by opening the prospect of a court fight with Madrid. The Catalan leader did not lay out clear steps for his next move if Spain’s central government blocks the vote. He is under pressure from his coalition partners to go ahead with a referendum even if it is declared illegal, though many believe he would shy away from such a move.