Spain to send extra police to Catalonia if independence referendum goes ahead

Catalonia closes ranks against Spain in referendum row
Catalonia closes ranks against Spain in referendum row
Author

25 September, 2017

The government of Catalonia, a wealthy region in northeastern Spain, has called a referendum on independence for October 1, triggering a constitutional crisis in the country.

Colonel Diego PĂ©rez de los Cobos has been put in charge of Catalan police forces in the autonomous region.

The arrests, as well as Wednesday's seizure of almost 10 million ballots destined for the vote, have seriously damaged separatist plans to conduct a referendum with a semblance of legitimacy, even if it was never going to be recognized by Madrid.

An Interior Ministry official, requesting anonymity because he was not allowed to be named in media reports, said Saturday's measure did "not mean taking command" of the Catalan police, but that it was "simply to agree on a means of coordination".

Forn said the chief of 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 two other national police forces, the National Police and the Civil Guard.

State police already on the ground carried out unprecedented raids on regional government offices, printers, newspapers and delivery companies, searching for campaign material on Wednesday.

"It would be sensible, reasonable and democratic to stop and say, there won't be a referendum, which they know won't happen", he said at one of his party's events.

Over 15000 people evacuated as bomb threats sweep Moscow
Bomb threats were also issued for Moscow's three railway stations - Kazanskiy, Leningradskiy and Kievskiy. Three more Siberian cities evacuated shopping malls, government offices, schools and hospitals.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the offices of the regional government's economy ministry in the centre of Barcelona's tourist district, chanting "They will not pass" and "We will vote", a Reuters witness said.

The "Mossos" - as they are often referred to in Catalonia - are the largest police force in the northeastern region. Catalan officials insist the vote will take place.

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

The Catalan police, Madrid claims, have not been complying with their instructions to clear protesters away from government buildings.

However, Catalonia's Interior Minister, Joaquim Forn, condemned the move as an attempt by the federal forces to hijack the local police force.

Demonstrators gathered again in Barcelona on Saturday while hundreds of farmers, many of tractors, joined a protest in the city of Lleida.

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".


More news


  • Airlines Cancel NZ Flights, Ration Fuel After Pipeline Leak

    Airlines Cancel NZ Flights, Ration Fuel After Pipeline Leak

    Malaysia Airlines in a statement said it has not cancelled any flight due to fuel rationing in Auckland between Sept 17 and 24. Auckland Airport says work to fix the pipe is underway, but it is not known how much longer the shortage could last.
    Neville Warns Manchester United About Returning Rooney

    Neville Warns Manchester United About Returning Rooney

    Paul Ince is backing Manchester United to beat Everton in what the retired midfielder considers to be "the game of the week". It says a lot that the Belgian has scored more goals this season for club and country than Everton have as an entire club.
    Pakistan celebrate return of global  cricket with memorable win over World XI

    Pakistan celebrate return of global cricket with memorable win over World XI

    On Friday, the World XI , chasing a target of 184, never got going as they could manage to score only 150/8 in their 20 overs. But from thereon Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam steadied the ship as they put a 102 run-stand.
  • Amazon Great Indian Festival kickstarts with discounts on iPhone 7 and more

    Amazon Great Indian Festival kickstarts with discounts on iPhone 7 and more

    Google's phone was launched at Rs 76,000 in India and is available at a discount of 34 percent on the Amazon website. Amazon will offer customers with big discounts, along with easy payment options like EMI on credit and debit cards.
    Electric crews head south to help with storm recovery efforts

    Electric crews head south to help with storm recovery efforts

    Meanwhile, about two-dozen volunteers are expected to be recruited later for a second trip to the damaged area. Twelve members of the state's Electric Cooperatives of SC association reported 7,560 outages around SC .
    Air Berlin flights hit by 'ill' pilots

    Air Berlin flights hit by 'ill' pilots

    A decision on the fate of Air Berlin could come as quickly as September 21, three days before the German national election. The German airline Air Berlin canceled more than 110 flights on Tuesday because of a high number of sick leaves.
  • Gurgaon woman arrested over slapping Army jawan gets bail

    Gurgaon woman arrested over slapping Army jawan gets bail

    Initially, it had appeared a case of road rage as her vehicle was seen parked just in front of the Army truck. A woman who had slapped a jawan has been arrested after the video of the incident went viral on social media.
    Trump Says He Backs New GOP Health Care Effort

    Trump Says He Backs New GOP Health Care Effort

    Soaring premiums have been a persistent problem for individuals enrolled on the Obamacare state exchanges. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Graham to line-up support and get a CBO score, Graham said.
    Nine of Cassini's most exciting discoveries about Saturn

    Nine of Cassini's most exciting discoveries about Saturn

    NASA did not want to risk Cassini crashing into any of Saturn's moons and potentially contaminating them with microbes from Earth. And that won't work for the people who control it back on Earth. "You're racing against the clock at that point", he said.
  • Kenya's judges who nullified election face 'savage' threats

    Kenya's judges who nullified election face 'savage' threats

    On Monday, the French technology company supporting the election said it would be almost impossible to be ready for that date. The justices said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had not verified the results before announcing them.
    Mumbai airport operations hit, 75 flights cancelled due to heavy rains

    Mumbai airport operations hit, 75 flights cancelled due to heavy rains

    Later, both runways were closed, and the main runway will be unavailable till 10 a.m. on Wednesday, a Note To Airmen (NOTAM) said. The road traffic was badly affected and it was hard for commuters to reach stations and take the train for workplaces.
    Kaspersky software banned at U.S.  federal agencies amid concerns of Kremlin ties

    Kaspersky software banned at U.S. federal agencies amid concerns of Kremlin ties

    Kaspersky said the company was happy to have an opportunity to provide information to show that the allegations are unfounded. Agencies in the executive branch are expected to begin the process of discontinuing Kaspersky products within 90 days.