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The Guardian: Spain to deploy police to prevent Catalan independence vote

The Guardian: Spain to deploy police to prevent Catalan independence vote

26 September 2017 | 22:46 | FOCUS News Agency
Madrid. Police will be deployed at polling stations to prevent people from voting in the Catalan independence referendum, the Spanish government has confirmed, The Guardian reports. Although the Catalonia regional government has insisted the unilateral poll will go ahead on Sunday, the Spanish government has vowed to stop the vote, which it says is a clear violation of the constitution. Spain’s constitutional court has suspended the legislation underpinning the referendum while it rules on its legality.
A spokesman for the Spanish government’s Catalan delegation said on Tuesday that the region’s prosecutor had ordered the Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonia’s police force, to take control of polling booths and identify those in charge.
“The order has been conveyed and it will be executed with all normality,” he said.
The Spanish government said the steps it had taken over the past week, including raiding Catalan government offices, arresting 14 officials and seizing almost 10m ballot papers, meant the vote could not take place.
“Today we can affirm that there will be no effective referendum in Catalonia,” the Spanish government’s representative in Catalonia, Enric Millo, told reporters on Tuesday. “All the referendum’s logistics have been dismantled.”
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Daily Express: Spain in CRISIS: Troops sent in as 40,000 protest over 'WAR' on Catalan independence vote

Daily Express: Spain in CRISIS: Troops sent in as 40,000 protest over 'WAR' on Catalan independence vote

22 September 2017 | 01:01 | FOCUS News Agency
Barcelona. MORE than 40,000 people have gathered in Barcelona to protest over the Catalan independence vote as the Spanish Government sends in troops to deal with the activists, writes Daily Express. The protesters in Barcelona and Catalonia are angry at the crackdown on a separatist-led referendum on independence for the region, which is due to be held on October 1.

Many of the angry protesters have been waving Catalonia’s red and yellow flag while chanting “We will vote” and “Hello Democracy!”

The protests were sparked when the Spanish military police, the Guardia Civil, raided Catalan government offices on Wednesday and arrested dozens of officials. Acting on a judge’s orders, police also raided newspaper offices in a bid to find campaign literature for the referendum.

The Madrid Government is thought to be facing one of Spain’s biggest political crises since the end of the Franco dictatorship four decades ago.

The Spanish government has claimed that Catalonia’s independence referendum is “illegal”.The Constitutional Court has suspended the vote after the central Government challenged its legality.

The Spanish Government announced on Friday it would take over the payment of essential services and and public workers’ salaries in Catalonia to prevent them from spending cash on the referendum.

Polls show that 40 per cent of Catalans support independence for the region.
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AFP: Stop 'escalation,' Spain PM urges Catalan separatists as protest continues

AFP: Stop 'escalation,' Spain PM urges Catalan separatists as protest continues

20 September 2017 | 23:27 | FOCUS News Agency
Madrid. Spain's prime minister called Wednesday on Catalan separatists to stop their "escalation" as several thousand people took to the streets of Barcelona to protest at Madrid's attempts to derail a banned referendum on independence, AFP reported.

"Stop this escalation of radicalism and disobedience once and for all," Mariano Rajoy said in a televised statement as protesters remained in the centre of the Mediterranean seaside city after a day-long demonstration that headed into the night.

"There is still time to avoid bigger problems."

Shouting "we will vote" and "no pasaran" (Spanish for "they shall not pass"), independence supporters started their gathering on Wednesday morning after police detained 14 Catalan government officials.

They refused to move as the day wore on, further angered by an announcement by the interior ministry that police had seized "close to 10 million ballot papers" destined for the October 1 vote deemed illegal by the central government.

Over in Madrid, hundreds of supporters of the referendum gathered in solidarity in Puerta del Sol square, which hosted scores of anti-austerity protests during the Spanish economic crisis.

Among those arrested by the Guardia Civil police was Josep Maria Jove, secretary general of economic affairs and Catalonia's deputy vice president, a regional government spokesman said.

The others work in various Catalan government departments and are suspects in a probe into "disobedience, misfeasance and embezzlement", the High Court in Catalonia said.

Launched in February, the probe centres around allegations that confidential data was stolen to provide separatists with information on Catalan taxpayers, a judicial source who refused to be named said.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont condemned the "totalitarian and undemocratic attitude of the Spanish state."

He accused Madrid of imposing a "de facto" state of emergency to stop the referendum.
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