Catalonia is still paving the way for a referendum despite Spain's central government trying to block the region's bid for independence through the courts.

Catalonia's local government said in a statement that Artur Mas, the president of the wealthy region in Spain, that he has appointed a seven-strong committee to oversee the ballot as it officially prepares to set up a referendum on 9 November.

Catalonia is an industrial and commercial titan in Spain and pays far higher taxes than any other regional community.

It accounts for over 20% of Spain's GDP, and only 8% is ploughed back into it by the state.

The Catalan community represents 16% of the total Spanish population.

Spain, which is still struggling to recover from the credit crunch in 2008 and the Eurozone debt crisis of 2010, is concerned that the vote would tear the country apart financially.

On 29 September, the Spanish courts decided to review the "legality" of Catalonia's referendum while Alicia Sanchez-Camacho, the head of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's People's Party's Catalan division said "Mas has lost his sense of responsibility, his sense of state and his common sense," said Alicia Sanchez-Camacho.