Madrid orders Catalan police to crack down on officials organising poll

Madrid orders Catalan police to crack down on officials organising poll

The regional Catalan government says it will press ahead with the vote on Sunday in defiance of an order banning it by the...

On Tuesday, the Spanish government's representative in Catalonia's capital Barcelona, Enric Millo, warned that Catalan president Carles Puigdemont could be removed from office if he continued to push ahead with the referendum, planned for this weekend.

As calls for independence grow in the Spanish region of Catalonia, President Trump on September 26 said he "would like to see Spain continue to be united".

"I bet you if you had accurate numbers and accurate polling, you'd find that they love their country, they love Spain and they wouldn't leave, so I'm just for a united Spain", Trump said. Catalonia's leaders retort they have a right to decide their future even if it not allowed by the Constitution.

Polls show Catalans are split on the issue of independence, but a large majority want to vote in a legitimate referendum to settle the matter.

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Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy has also gotten personally involved, stating that the vote "will not happen because this would mean liquidating the law" - setting up a tense confrontation in an already charged atmosphere.

Over in Madrid, hundreds of supporters of the referendum gathered in solidarity in Puerta del Sol square, which hosted scores of anti-austerity protests during the Spanish economic crisis.

Spanish security operations to thwart a controversial secession referendum in the northeastern region of Catalonia were continuing on Tuesday as online operations rendered over 140 pro-independence web pages inaccessible.

"We will let the government and the people there work it out, and we will work with whatever government or entity that comes out of it", Nauert said. "They are excluding half the population", Dastis said. The separatists who now govern the wealthy region in northeastern Spain often make references to the short-lived 1931-1939 republic crushed by General Francisco Franco after a three-year civil war.

Although Catalonia enjoys a certain measure of autonomy, separtists have long campaigned for independence for a wealthy region with its own language and cultural traditions.

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