Extra police sent to stop referendum in Catalonia, Spain

Laura Christensen
September 25, 2017

"The Catalan government does not accept this intervention of the state because it does not take into account all the legal framework that we have in order to take care of the security in Catalonia".

Forn said the top cop in the Mossos d'Esquadra had expressed his opposition to the measure during a meeting Saturday with the top state prosecutor in Catalonia and chiefs of Spain's two national police forces, the National Police and the Civil Guard.

The Catalan interior minister said the new state forces on the ground were one more step toward taking over the local police, a move that is seen as unlikely by most observers because it would be reminiscent of the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War, when the force was abolished.

A man drives his taxi decorated with an estela flag and publicity supporting the October 1 vote in Barcelona, Spain Friday, Sept. 22, 2017.

An Interior Ministry statement said the extra police would provide backing for the Catalan regional police, who are also under orders to prevent the staging of the referendum.

It has called the referendum an illegal act and taken police and court action to block it.

Catalonia's president Carles Puigdemont issued a statement late Thursday saying the referendum would be held "because we had prepared some plans to protect ourselves from any eventuality and guarantee the vote".

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The "Mossos" have been criticized by unions and members of the national police bodies for not cracking down hard enough on the referendum.

Accoridng to Reuters, Spain's constitutional court has ordered the referendum vote to be suspended, insisting tihat it s illegal.

At the demonstration outside the Catalan regional ministry of economy, protester Charo Rovira said she felt sad at the turn of events. The ministry says the move is created to enhance coordination.

Supporters of Catalan independence are protesting against the Spanish government's decision to ban an independence referendum on October 1.

The protesters have said on social media that pro- independence politicians are expected to give talks at Barcelona University.

Catalan National Assembly president Jordi Sanchez told the cheering crowds: "We will be here, peacefully but present, until all of the arrested walk out free".

Hundreds entered the main building of Barcelona University and occupied a central cloister near the offices of the dean and other university managers.

Other reports by My Hot News

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