Basque lawmakers approve plan for referendum seen as breakaway bid from Spain

A defiant Basque regional parliament narrowly approved plans Friday for a referendum seen as a veiled push for breaking away from Spain, setting it on a collision course with the central government. Spain's government immediately vowed to block a referendum, saying it was unconstitutional. "The plan will be appealed and suspended," Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said. The government will file a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court, which is Spain's highest. Once it agrees to consider the motion, this has the effect of automatically suspending plans for the referendum, which Basque authorities want to hold October 25.