Spanish PM Slams 'Radicalism and Disobedience' of Catalan Separatists as 40000 Demonstrate

Catalonia, a wealthy region of 7.5 million people in north-eastern Spain which has Barcelona as its capital, has its own language and culture but is not recognised as a separate nation by the Spanish state.

Demonstrators waved hybrid flags amalgamating the yellow stripes of Catalonia with the blue saltire of Scotland, and a press pullout stating "Si" from pro-independence Scottish newspaper The National.

The raid came as part of an ongoing police and judicial operation by Spanish authorities to try to halt the referendum called by the pro-independence Catalan government.

Police said they confiscated over 45,000 notifications which were about to be sent to Catalans selected to staff polling stations for the vote, representing 80 percent of the numbers necessary to ensure the stations were adequately staffed.

Football Club Barcelona publicly expressed today its support to all persons, entities and Catalonian institutions, on the political situation in Catalonia concerning the independentist referéndum of next October 1.

On Wednesday, Catalonia's President Carles Puigdemont said the government's actions imposed a "de facto" state of emergency and denounced the "totalitarian and undemocratic attitude of the Spanish state".

It argues that any referendum on Catalan independence would be illegal because Spain's 1978 constitution makes no provision for a vote on self-determination.

A leading editor has said the Spanish and Catalan governments are headed for a major clash as the ongoing row of independence grows.

LLUIS GENE
Spain moves against Catalan separatists with police raids

The others work in various Catalan government departments, including its economic and budget affairs departments, a local Guardia Civil spokesman said.

Wednesday also saw the Spanish central government take over control of "non-vital payments" made by the Catalan regional authority, meaning that among other things, Madrid will now pay the wages of Catalan civil servants.

Mayor of the town of El Pont de Suert Jose Antonio Troguet leaves the court of Seu d'Urgell, Lerida, Catalonia after being accused of cooperating with the Catalan independence referendum.

Now they have taken a step further in arresting Catalan officials.

Junior economy minister Josep Maria Jové was among the high-ranking Catalan officials detained following raids on regional offices including the economy, presidency, social affairs, telecoms and foreign affairs ministries, the BBC reported.

Regional officials have vowed to hold the referendum on Catalonia's secession from Spain despite fierce opposition from the central government and a suspension order by the Constitutional Court. In June Puigdemont announced that the referendum would be held in October and would ask voters: "Do you want Catalonia to be an independent country in the form of a republic?"

Sturgeon said the Edinburgh Agreement, drawn up by the Scottish and United Kingdom governments before the 2014 independence referendum in Scotland, could act as a template for others.

  • Santos West