>> Protesters in their thousands gathering outside Barcelona's court on Monday, marching with the former head of Catalonia, Artur Mas. He's on trial for staging an informal referendum on Catalonian independence in 2014, while regional governor. That was carried out without legal backing after the Spanish government blocked it in the courts.
Catalonia is a region of Spain with its own language and culture, and home to a strong Separatist movement. Reuters Spain correspondent, Paul Dey says relations with Madrid have been rocky since the push for independence gained ground during Spain's economic crisis.>> This is just growing tension between the two sides.
And Barcelona claims that they do have right to continue with this and, in fact, are continuing against all constitutional rules, are continuing to try to push through an independent Catalonia.>> Mas Telalporty takes full responsiblity for the independence vote. If found guilty, he could could be banned from holding a position in public office for ten years, effectively ending his political career.
But that wouldn't end the push for independence. The current Catalan leader may withhold a new referendum in September and the outcome of Mas's trial could shape the timing.>> There is a suggestion that if Mas is charged during this trial, then the government in Catalan will try to use the momentum they have of the frustration of the Catalan people to see their previous leader going through a court process.
And they will try to use that to push a referendum before the summer, but that very much depends on whether Mas is charged or not.>> Mas's trial, due to wrap up on Thursday, a verdict not expected for several months.