Spain's State Prosecutor Says Detention of Catalan President Possible

Basque leader urges Madrid to allow independence votes
Basque leader urges Madrid to allow independence votes
Author

27 September, 2017

Speaking days after Spanish police arrested 14 Catalan officials, seized nearly 10m ballot papers and chartered ferries to accommodate the thousands of extra police officers who are being sent to Catalonia to stop the referendum, Maza rejected suggestions that the government was being heavy-handed.

With five days to go until the October 1 vote, the clash between Catalonia's pro-separatist government and Madrid was increasingly being played out in the arena of logistics and global opinion.

Mr Rajoy, 62, the leader of the conservative People's Party (PP) said the issue of the Catalan referendum is creating tensions within the country and would like it to be resolved as soon as possible.

The Spanish interior ministry said the order to note the details of officials was given to police by the top state prosecutor in Catalonia. The Mossos were also instructed to seize ballot boxes or papers which could be used in Sunday's vote.

The Catalan government has already vowed to push ahead with the referendum on October 1, which the Spanish government considers illegal.

Students place leaflets on a wall during a protest march held to support the independence referendum in Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, 24 September 2017.

Another 85 sites are in the process of being closed, judicial sources said.

Sala is one of more than 700 mayors who have pledged to cooperate with the referendum.

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Faced with these actions, the separatist leaders of this wealthy northeastern region of Spain, home to around 7.5 million people, have accused Madrid of "repression".

But the US President became more ambiguous hinting the Catalans would not stand for their referendum vote to be blocked.

He also said the risk of violence was of concern to many people.

Spain's democratic constitution of 1978, which was approved by more than 90 percent of Catalan voters, gave wide autonomy to the regions but affirmed "the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".

President Donald Trump will address news media Tuesday afternoon with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

"We denounce this as an operation of state abuse", they said.

Spain's Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis told AFP that "a hypothetical declaration of independence won't lead to anything because no one would recognise it".

"No matter how much war-like zeal they demonstrate. they are wasting time, and the (referendum) on October will take place", the Catalan government spokesman said.


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