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  1. #1
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    Catalonia referendum: Spanish police target Catalan government

    Catalonia referendum: Spanish police target Catalan government


    • 20 September 2017






    Spain's Guardia Civil police have detained a senior Catalan official and raided regional government ministries involved in organising a banned independence vote.
    Tensions were already high before the arrest of Josep Maria Jové, secretary-general of the Catalan vice presidency.
    Catalan leaders are defying a court order to halt the vote, condemned by the Madrid government as illegal.
    One official called for peaceful resistance to protect the buildings.
    "The time has come - let's resist peacefully; let's come out and defend our institutions," the president of the Catalan National Assembly, Jordi Sánchez, tweeted.
    'We will not allow it'

    The economy, foreign affairs and presidency buildings were all targeted early on Wednesday, 11 days before the referendum.
    The detained official's boss, Catalan Vice-President Oriol Junqueras, accused Spanish police of attacking the region's institutions and therefore its citizens too. "We will not allow it," he said.
    The night before, Spanish police discovered a mass of documents directly related to the banned vote.
    Catalan police officers, on patrol outside the building in Terrassa, scuffled with pro-secession protesters trying to block the street outside.
    The Catalan government is trying to organise the 1 October referendum, in the face of determined resistance by the national government to prevent it going ahead.
    The Madrid government has been backed up by Spain's Constitutional Court, which suspended the referendum law passed by the Catalan parliament.


    Some 7.5 million people live in Spain's well-off north-eastern region. Although opinion polls have been rare, one survey commissioned by the Catalan government in July suggested that 41% of voters backed independence while 49% were opposed.
    Stacks of boxes of envelopes found

    One of the most important aims for the national authorities is to stop voting cards being sent out in the first place.


    Among the documents seized in Terrassa were stacks of boxes containing some 45,000 envelopes with the Catalan government's logo. The envelopes were suspected of containing voting cards.
    In earlier raids, only posters and other promotional election literature had been found.


    A local judge in Terrassa authorised police to seize the envelopes and open one to assess whether a company official may have been involved in "misappropriating public money" for the 1 October vote.
    Up to 200 local people gathered outside the Unipost offices, placing flowers on police vehicles. For more than two hours they stopped a local judiciary official from entering the building. Catalan police eventually intervened to let the official through.
    The mayors of three small Catalan towns appeared in court on Tuesday on suspicion of helping the vote take place.
    Spanish prosecutors have opened an investigation into more than 700 local mayors who have backed the referendum. If voting does go ahead, it will take place in Catalonia's schools and municipal buildings.
    The Spanish government has also moved to take control of the region's finances, in an attempt to stop public money being spent on the vote.
    A deadline for the Catalan leadership to abandon the vote has run out, with Spain preparing to take over funding of most public services, including the payment of workers' salaries.
    However, the vice-president of the Catalan government, Oriol Junqueras, went to the Supreme Court on Tuesday to appeal against the decision. Accusing the national government of irresponsible behaviour, he said he was confident the appeal would in effect suspend Madrid's move.
    The Catalan administration had all the resources it needed to meet its obligations, he said.

    Catalonia referendum: Spanish police target Catalan government - BBC News

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    No pasaran Castellano suspend Generlitat, glovess off in Barca

    Madrid is using all its powers to stop break away referendum by The Catalans slated 1-0 for October
    , Oriol Junquera , pels si juncs and former leaders Margell in headlights mass arrests and demos planned, it will get ugly.
    attempts to thwart printed vote papers led to offshore weboste and downloadable printable ballot form , Mossos, the armed police of Catalunya in difficult spot and may be disarmed by GC.Echoes of the GAL and paramilitary shenaignas meany Rajoy the Falange apologist failed to get support.

    Up in Mts near Andorra Ripoli hotheads attacking socialist and Mayors who refuse to back the independence thrust, trouble announced inLleida Girona and othe pro independence areas

    Catalonia referendum: Catalonian government 'de facto' suspended by Spain, president of province says | The Independent

    For those who can translate

    LaVanguardia.com - Noticias, actualidad y última hora en Catalunya, España y el mundo

    Diario de Navarra - Noticias de Navarra, Pamplona, Osasuna, Deportes
    Last edited by david44; 20-09-2017 at 07:37 PM.
    I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn’t find any.

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    https://reut.rs/2xQbz66


    MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spanish police raided Catalan government offices and arrested officials on Wednesday to halt a banned referendum on independence, an action the regional president said meant Madrid had effectively taken over his administration.

    Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the regional government offices in the center of Barcelona’s tourist district, waving the red-and-yellow Catalan flag and chanting “Occupying forces out” and “Where is Europe?”.
    “The Spanish state has by all rights intervened in Catalonia’s government and has established emergency rule,” Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said in a televised address.
    “We condemn and reject the anti-democratic and totalitarian actions of the Spanish state,” he said, adding that Catalans should still turn out in force to vote in the Oct. 1 referendum on a split from Spain that Madrid has declared illegal.
    State police arrested Catalonia’s junior economy minister Josep Maria Jove on Wednesday in their first raid of government offices in the region, Catalan government sources said. The raid targeted several regional government departments.

    A dozen high-ranking local officials were arrested, La Vanguardia newspaper said. The police confirmed they were carrying out raids connected with the banned referendum, but did not give details. The Catalan government sources could not confirm the other arrests.
    Among the protesters outside the government office in Barcelona, was Carlos, a 47-year-old taxi driver.
    “We’re here so they know they can’t do whatever they want,” he said as angry protesters bore banners saying “Democracy” and “Vote to be free”.

    Police efforts to stop the referendum, which the central government says is illegal, have intensified in recent days as the wealthy northeastern region shows no signs of halting it.
    Acting under court orders, police have raided printers, newspaper offices and private delivery in a search for campaign literature, instruction manuals for manning voting stations, and ballot boxes.


    On Tuesday, the Civil Guard, a national police force, seized more than 45,000 envelopes packed in cardboard boxes that the Catalan government was ready to send to notify people around the region about the referendum.
    The first of hundreds of Catalan mayors were also forced to appear before the state prosecutor on Tuesday after they said they would back the referendum.
    But the central government must tread a fine line in enforcing the law in the region without seeming heavy-handed. Polls show a minority of Catalans, albeit over 40 percent, support independence although a majority want a referendum on the issue.

    Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Wednesday the operations in Catalonia were the result of legal rulings and were to ensure the rule of law. Markets so far have shrugged off the increasing tension.
    The Constitutional Court has suspended the vote after the central government challenged its legality. Spain’s central government says the referendum goes against the country’s 1978 constitution which states Spain is indivisible.
    Under Article 155 of Spain’s constitution, Madrid has the power to suspend the regional government’s authority to rule. It has yet to exercise this option as it seeks to block the vote through the courts.


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    Spanish government fears violence in Catalonia
    By EUOBSERVER

    8. SEP, 17:42
    The Spanish government is worried that "blood is shed on the streets" of Catalonia, its spokesman said, after Spain's Constitutional Tribunal said an independence referendum planned for 1 October by the Catalan government is illegal, and the state prosecutor asked Catalan police to prevent the vote. He said that the government would be ready to use Article 155 of the Constitution, which allows "necessary means" to protect the state's interests.

    https://euobserver.com/tickers/138946

    In the meantime the Mods in Brussels are silent

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    I remember seeing independence marches in Galicia right on the street where I was only 3 years ago... the question is, what do they want independence from and to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by david44 View Post
    Spanish government fears violence in Catalonia
    They fear democracy, threats of violence are coming from Madrid.

    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainNemo View Post
    I remember seeing independence marches in Galicia right on the street where I was only 3 years ago... the question is, what do they want independence from and to?
    From Spain. They want an independent sovereign state of Catalonia.

    What do you mean "independence... to?".

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    Barcelona Braces for Sustained Protests After Raids on Officials
    By Esteban Duarte
    September 20, 2017, 9:15 PM GMT+3 September 21, 2017, 10:33 AM GMT+3


    Barcelona is bracing for fresh protests after campaigners for Catalan independence scuffled overnight with Spanish police cracking down on plans for a referendum on secession.


    Standing on top of a battered police car around midnight, separatist leader Jordi Sanchez told protesters gathered outside the regional economy department to go home and prepare for a sustained insurrection after Spanish police arrested regional officials and seized ballot papers during a day of dramatic confrontation in the Catalan capital. Sanchez’s Catalan National Assembly is calling for a permanent demonstration from noon Thursday as it pushes for a vote on Oct. 1.


    “Half of our team is arrested -- not for doing something wrong, but for doing what we must do,” Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras said, his voice breaking, in an emotional interview with regional broadcaster TV3. “People should look hard at who they choose to trust, they will see who is acting with honor.”


    With Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy facing Spain’s biggest constitutional crisis in more than three decades, the future of Catalonia will be shaped by the power struggle that plays out in the coming days between the forces of the state and the protesters on the streets. El Mundo newspaper reported Thursday that the central government plans to deploy almost 3,000 National Police and Civil Guard to Catalonia.


    Rajoy has been ratcheting up his government’s response to ensure the referendum won’t happen. Wednesday’s police raids led to at least 14 arrests as the Civil Guard also seized almost 10 million voting slips at an industrial warehouse near Barcelona.


    “I call on them to end their illegal actions, to abandon their plans, they know this referendum cannot be held,” Rajoy said in a televised statement Wednesday night. “It is nothing more than an impossible chimera or, which is worse, the excuse that some use to deepen even further the fractures that they have created in Catalan society.”


    No analysts at this stage are projecting Spain’s biggest economic region has much chance of actually winning independence -- just 35 percent said Catalonia should be independent in a July survey by the Catalan government’s polling agency. But the rift between Barcelona and Madrid and, indeed, between the pro- and anti-independence factions within Catalan society, may leave a permanent scar on the nation’s psyche and poses a threat to political leaders from both camps.


    “Today marks a new level of escalation in the conflict,” Angel Talavera, an economist at Oxford Economics in London, said Wednesday. “The relationship is completely destroyed. I don’t see any way they can really move forward without a change of government on both sides.”


    The extra yield investors demand to hold Spanish 10-year debt instead of German bunds was little changed at 114 points in early trading Thursday after rising by 4 points during the previous session. Shares of Catalan lender Banco Sabadell SA fell 3.8 percent Wednesday.


    40,000 Protesters


    Protesters gathered outside the offices of the regional finance department Wednesday as Civil Guard officers searched the premises for evidence that officials have helped to organize the vote. Barcelona police estimated the size of the protest at 40,000 people.


    Outside, separatists unveiled a banner that read, in English, “Welcome to the Catalan Republic.” The crowd chanted that the raid was a return to the authoritarian tactics of dictator Francisco Franco and set up improvised security checks to control access to the building. The day ended in scuffles as the police managed to clear the exit to the building at 1.30 a.m., according to El Pais.


    “We are here to stop the forces of Spanish repression from pushing our elected representatives around,” said Jordi Adroer, a 58-year-old economist who spent all day at Wednesday’s demonstration. “I have been waiting all my life to gain freedom, and I am willing to wait as long as it takes.”


    The Old Regime


    The protests are due to resume in the symbolic Plaza Lluis Companys close to the Catalan Parliament. Companys was the last Catalan leader to declare independence from Spain in 1934 and was later executed by the Franco regime. Junqueras has a portrait of Companys hanging above his desk in his party headquarters.


    The crisis in Catalonia comes with the political order that steered Spain through a three-decade boom after its return to democracy in disarray after a historic economic crisis and revelations of systemic corruption among the political elites in both Madrid and Barcelona. The fragmented parliament in Madrid, where Rajoy lacks a majority, has left the prime minister exposed as he appeals to Catalan leaders to drop their demands.


    On Tuesday night, the lawmakers voted against a motion to support Rajoy’s efforts to enforce the rule of law with the left-wing populists Podemos demanding the prime minister let the Catalans vote on their future and the Socialists divided. With no clear consensus on how he should be dealing with the issue, Rajoy’s attempts to calibrate his response -- to block the vote without driving moderates into the separatist camp -- are beginning to unravel.


    — With assistance by Maria Tadeo, and Charles Penty

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...gal-referendum

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Spain's government will be ready for talks with Catalonia's authorities on the reform of the funding system for the region after they abandon plans to gain independence, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said in an interview published Thursday.


    Earlier in the week, Spain’s Civil Guard held over 40 search operations related to the preparations for the independence vote and detained more than 10 people. The searches were held in a number of governmental institutions, including Catalonia's government.


    Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, in his turn, accused the Spanish government on Wednesday of a de-facto suspension of the region's self-governance with its actions to impede the Catalonia independence referendum.


    "Once independence plans are dropped, we can talk… Catalonia already has a great deal of autonomy, but we could talk about a reform of the funding system and other issues," de Guindos told the Financial Times, adding that any talks would correspond to the country's constitution.


    According to the minister, the government is currently more open to demands by Catalonia's former leader Artur Mas made in 2012 regarding providing more money and financial autonomy to the region.


    "In 2012 it was the middle of a crisis and our focus was on avoiding a bailout for Spain… but now the situation has changed, we have more fiscal space, we have a recovery, and that opens new opportunities for discussion," the minister said, adding that independence would be "economic and financial suicide" for Catalonia due to a possible significant fall in the economic output.


    On September 6, Catalonia’s Parliament passed a bill enabling an independence referendum to be held on October 1. The Spanish government called the bill illegal and challenged it in the Constitutional Court. The next day, the Constitutional Court accepted the lawsuit for review, thus suspending the Catalan law on the referendum.


    https://sputniknews.com/europe/20170...dence-funding/

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    Ignore the insulting ranterbanter

    The real oppression

    Independence rallies before the TSJC to demand the release of detainees

    DAVID RUIZ , QUICO SALLÉS
    It is expected that those arre
































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    Why do you care RJ ?

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    Via Laietana, from the Social Political Brigade of Franco to the Civil Guard of Rajoy

    Gara takes the glove off even La Farol and the normally Madril oriented press having dounbts
    Pro Catalan protest in Puerto del Sol

    El Mundo and La Vanguardia are giving a balanced view wil TVE is spoting the Falange unity line

    Noticias de España | EL MUNDO
    ETB has in depth analysis
    Boulevard (2017-2018) | Radio a la carta | EITB Radios

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    Not really an answer is it RJ.

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    Wonder how much pressure was put on the Spanish government from the EU to prevent the referendum as if they voted to leave thus creating a new country/state then surely they'd have to leave the EU and then apply to join if they so desired.

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    Doubt the Falange successors in Madrid need much encouragement from the EU. They may have made a huge mistake though. Support for independence was running at just over 41% and the referendum would most likely have gone Madrid's way. Now they've pissed everyone off and a referendum might not be needed for independence, just mass protest.

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    Well if Spain can veto Scotland joining the EU, then I'm pretty sure they can veto ETA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Well if Spain can veto Scotland joining the EU, then I'm pretty sure they can veto ETA.
    ETA ?

    The thread is about Catalonia.

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    Catalonia cannot be allowed to get independent. Otherwise, do we agree with Crimea independence?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Begbie View Post
    ETA ?

    The thread is about Catalonia.
    Don't you know what ETA is then Begbie?

    The Spanish equivalent of all those pikey "Scots".

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    ETA is or was the Basque armed movement. Very similar to the IRA.

    Not Catalans.

    Over to you Harry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Begbie View Post
    ETA is or was the Basque armed movement. Very similar to the IRA.

    Not Catalans.

    Over to you Harry.
    Same shit innit. Spain will say no, and they won't be allowed to join the EU.

    Best bit is that all Barcelona will be able to play against is their reserve and youth teams.


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    What is democracy anyway? Demokratia = rule of the people by their elected deputies.

    Spanish police seal off polling stations in Catalonia

    Spain's government cracks down on Catalonia's banned secession vote as separatists camp out at schools across region.

    Spanish police have sealed off most public buildings earmarked as polling stations for a banned referendum on Catalonia's breakaway from Spain, according to officials.

    Separatists in the northeastern region on Friday evening and Saturday morning started occupying voting stations in a bid to ensure Sunday's poll, which has been declared illegal by Spanish authorities, goes ahead.

    The Spanish interior ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the "majority" of public buildings that had been identified as referendum sites had "stayed shut" and "only a few" are occupied by people "with the only aim" of obstructing police work.

    The central government in Madrid had previously said that 1,300 of 2,315 designated voting stations have been sealed off by police, who have been mobilised in the thousands in the region.

    Also earlier on Saturday, Enric Millo, the highest-ranking Spanish official in Catalonia, had said that parents and students were found to be occupying 163 schools and holding activities when police were sealing off facilities.

    Spanish police seal off polling stations in Catalonia | News | Al Jazeera

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    Catalans were defying rain and police orders to leave designated polling stations for Sunday's banned referendum on the region's secession that has challenged Spain's political and institutional order.
    The country's Constitutional Court has suspended the vote and the Spanish central government says it's illegal. Regional separatist leaders have pledged to hold it anyway, promising to declare independence if the "yes" side wins, and have called on 5.3 million eligible voters to cast ballots.
    Reporters with The Associated Press saw ballot boxes wrapped in plastic bags being carried into some of the polling stations in Barcelona occupied by parents, children and activists to make sure polls could open at 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) as scheduled.
    The plastic ballot boxes, bearing the seal of the Catalan regional government, were placed on tables, prompting the cheering of hopeful voters that had gathered in schools before dawn.
    Some 2,300 facilities had been designated as polling stations, but it was unclear how many were able to open. The Ministry of Interior didn't provide a number late on Saturday when it said that "most" of them had been sealed off and that only "some" remained occupied.
    Police have received orders to avoid the use of force and only have been warning people to vacate the facilities. They are also supposed to confiscate ballots and ballot boxes.
    In an effort to overcome myriad obstacles, Catalan officials announced that voters would be allowed to cast ballots in any location and using ballots printed at home, rather than in designated polling stations as previously announced.
    Regional government spokesman Jordi Turull also said that a group of "academics and professionals" would serve as election observers. The official electoral board appointed by the regional parliament was disbanded last week to avoid hefty fines by Spain's Constitutional Court.
    "We are under conditions to be able to celebrate a self-determination referendum with guarantees," Turull said in a press conference. "Our goal is that all Catalans can vote."
    Tension has been on the rise since the vote was called in early September, crystalizing years of defiance by separatists in the affluent region, which contributes a fifth of Spain's 1.1 trillion-euro economy ($1.32 trillion.)
    Spain's 2008-2013 financial crisis and harsh austerity measures fueled frustration in Catalonia for setbacks in efforts to gain greater autonomy, with many Catalans feeling they could do better on their own.
    Courts and police have been cracking down for days to halt the vote, confiscating 10 million paper ballots and arresting key officials involved in the preparations. On Saturday, Civil Guard agents dismantled the technology to connect voting stations, count the votes and vote online, leading the Spanish government to announce that holding the referendum would be "impossible."
    Joaquim Bosch, a 73-year-old retiree at Princep de Viana high school, where a crowd of 20 people was growing Sunday morning, said he was uneasy about a possible police response to the crowds.
    "I have come to vote to defend the rights of my country, which is Catalonia," Bosch said. "I vote because of the mistreatment of Catalonia by Spain for many years."
    On Saturday, Spain's foreign minister dismissed the planned vote as anti-democratic, saying it runs "counter to the goals and ideals" of the European Union.
    "What they are pushing is not democracy. It is a mockery of democracy, a travesty of democracy," Alfonso Dastis told The Associated Press in an interview.
    Dozens of protests have been taking place in Catalonia and across Spain, some to condemn the crackdown on the vote and others supporting the nation's unity against the independence bid.
    No minimum turnout has been set for the validity of the vote by Catalan authorities. Regional government officials initially hoped for a turnout greater than the 2.3 million people who voted in a mock referendum in 2014 in which 80 percent favored independence but have recently signaled that they would consider the vote valid with a lower number given the challenges to hold it.
    Separatist Catalan leaders have pledged to declare independence from Spain within 48 hours of Sunday's vote if the 'yes' side wins.
    ___
    Associated Press writer Alex Oller contributed to this report.
    Catalans assemble in polling stations defying police orders ahead of independence referendum - The Malta Independent

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    From Spain. They want an independent sovereign state of Catalonia.

    What do you mean "independence... to?".
    I mean... do they want independence from a weak Spanish economy? An ineffective and excessively bureacratic centralised state? What is the problem that independence is the solution for?
    Presumably they hope, like Scotland, to remain in the EU, which doesn't seem much like independent sovereignty... do they just want a national football team, because they already get to use their language, and fly their flag, and they won't get to play border guards inside the EU... so what's it all for? A lot of people felt that the Nutty Nats just wanted to elevate their Stoneybridge town council to international levels of pomposity and pile onto the gravy train with yet another unnecessary layer of administration for the punters to pay for whilst overseeing the inevitable ajockalypse as the economy went bubble and squeak.

    "independence... to" means, what does the punter on the street get for this? do they get a pay rise/tax cut? draw a squiggle on a map or a slot in the world cup qualifiers? Get their kids to learn Spanish as a foreign language at school? 'cos I don't see how it benefits them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1F2i0rYMj8

    we are all figments of our own imagination.

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    I don't think they even know. Apparently the referendum probably would have ended in defeat if the Government had just let it happen.

    I don't think anyone will support them, perhaps that fucking scottish harpie but that will be it.

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