CATALAN President Artur Mas has called early regional elections for September 27.
The elections – originally expected to take place in 2016 – will be Catalunya’s third since 2010.
Mas says the early elections will be a key test of support for an independent Catalunya.
A symbolic vote on independence was held on November 9, despite strong opposition from the Madrid government.
In the non-binding poll more than 80% backed independence. However, the turnout was little more than 40%.
Madrid stands firmly against a referendum on independence and claims one would be wholly unconstitutional.