Protests as cops detain Catalan govt officials

Ruben Ruiz
September 21, 2017

Parti Quebecois leader Jean-Francois Lisee, a Quebec separatist, said today the provincial government must ask the Spanish people to respect democracy and allow the Catalan people to vote. Catalan police eventually intervened to let the official through.

BARCELONA-Barcelona has criticized government acts against Catalonia's right to hold a secession referendum next month.

Spain's Guardia Civil police detained 12 senior officials and raided three Catalan regional government offices on Wednesday.

In another tightening of the screw, Spain's Finance Ministry said it has imposed further controls over the Catalan government's finances to ensure no public money is used for the referendum.

FC Barcelona have released a statement supporting "democracy" and "freedom of speech" in the wake of the Spanish government's attempts to prevent a Catalan independence referendum in two weeks' time.

Catalonia's separatist leaders want the region's 7.5 million inhabitants - who are deeply divided over the issue - to be able to answer the question: "Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a republic?"

"The will of the Catalan people can not be stopped". Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro signed an order late Tuesday that limits new credit and requires central authorities' supervision for every payment of non-essential services in Catalonia, the ministry said.

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A neighbor told AP that Sanchez was either deaf or hard of hearing, and carried a stick with him as protection from stray dogs. Neighbors could hear the officers giving Sanchez commands, and they yelled that the man was deaf, Mathews said.

The reasons for Mr Jove's arrest were not immediately clear, but Spain's central government had warned that officials who help stage the referendum could face criminal charges.

The Vice President of Catalonia, Oriol Junqueras, said that the Madrid-based Spanish government is exhibiting "a total contempt toward the will of the people".

In a major operation ahead of Catalonia's looming independence referendum, Spanish police on Wednesday began searching several Catalan government buildings in Barcelona.

The prosperous Catalonia region, whose capital is Barcelona, generates a fifth of Spain's economy.

Several ministries in Barcelona were raided on Wednesday, including the economy, foreign affairs, telecoms, social affairs and presidency buildings.

Hundreds gathered outside government offices in Barcelona to protest the crack-down, chanting "We will vote", Reuters reported.

Although the Catalan independence movement has so far been peaceful, raids on government premises carried out by a Spanish militarised police force, the Guardia Civil, create uncomfortable echoes of the Franco dictatorship. Protests also occurred in other Catalan towns.

Other reports by GizPress

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