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Game over for 'discredited' Catalan referendum, Spanish officials say

People take part in a gathering in support of the banned October 1 independence referendum in Barcelona, Spain, September 24, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera

MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spanish authorities have done enough to discredit and prevent a planned referendum this Sunday on independence in Catalonia, two senior government officials told Reuters on Monday, though they may now let a secession “party” happen.

“There may be a party on Sunday at which, on squares and in streets, some voting stalls may be installed and a mock vote may take place. But it will not be a referendum,” one of the officials said on condition of anonymity.

The officials said Catalonia lacked a proper election commission, ballots boxes, ballot papers, a transparent census and election material, and other material needed to hold the vote.

They also said the result of the vote or a potential unilateral declaration of independence afterwards would not be granted any international recognition or legitimacy.

“Not even Venezuela or North Korea will recognize it. And if they do, I am not sure it would help the independence campaign a lot,” the official said.

Reporting by Julien Toyer and Sam Edwards; Editing by Angus Berwick