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 Post subject: Tensions Rise in Spain As Catalonia Referendum Nears
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:42 pm 
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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/worl ... ml?mcubz=0

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As Catalonia Referendum Nears, Tensions Rise in Spain

By RAPHAEL MINDERSEPT. 20, 2017

MADRID — The Spanish police detained more than a dozen people in the region of Catalonia on Wednesday, drastically escalating tensions between the national government and Catalan separatists. The episode occurred less than two weeks before a highly contentious referendum on independence that the government in Madrid has vowed to block.

With the backing of the constitutional court, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has been stepping up efforts to prevent the referendum, scheduled for Oct. 1.

The police raided the offices of the Catalan regional government early Wednesday and arrested at least 14 people, including Josep Maria Jové, secretary general of economic affairs. The arrests were not expected, but hundreds of mayors and other officials in Catalonia had been warned that they would be indicted if they helped organize a referendum in violation of Spanish law.

Hundreds of supporters of Catalan independence immediately took to the streets of Barcelona to protest the arrests. Jordi Sanchez, the leader of one of the region’s biggest separatist associations, used Twitter to urge Catalans to “resist peacefully,” but also to “come out and defend our institutions.”

Speaking before the national Parliament, Mr. Rajoy defended the detentions and accused separatist politicians of promoting civil disobedience and escalating the conflict, using methods he described as “profoundly antidemocratic.”

By passing a law allowing for the Catalan referendum, Mr. Rajoy said, the separatists had flouted Spanish law and “invented a new legal order.”

“Luckily,” he added, “the rule of law has functioned.”

Separatist leaders, however, have accused Mr. Rajoy of plunging Catalonia into a state of emergency rather than negotiating the terms of a referendum.

“The issue that is at stake today isn’t the independence — or not — of Catalonia,” Raül Romeva, Catalonia’s foreign affairs chief, told a group of foreign correspondents in Madrid on Wednesday, “but democracy in Spain and the European Union.”

Mr. Romeva said that Catalonia would hold the referendum as planned, and that Catalan lawmakers would act to honor the result within 48 hours — meaning they would declare independence unilaterally if people voted for it.


“There is no alternative, absolutely no alternative,” he said. “There are only two projects now on the table: a democratic project or repression.”

Madrid seized control of Catalonia’s finances this week, seeking to ensure that separatist politicians could not spend further public funds on the referendum. Under the guidance of public prosecutors and Spanish judges, the police conducted raids across Catalonia to confiscate ballots and campaign materials from printing shops and delivery companies. Spain’s judiciary has also taken measures to stop advertisements related to the referendum in the news media.

Still, the Catalan government says it can hold the vote, and recently announced that it had stored about 6,000 ballot boxes in a secret location.

“The referendum will be held and is already organized,” Mr. Romeva said. “Clearly the conditions in which it will be celebrated are not those that we wished for.”

As the referendum date nears, Mr. Rajoy, who leads a minority government, finds himself under increasing pressure in Madrid to explain how the conflict over possible Catalan secession spun out of control.

Recent opinion polls have shown support for Catalan independence waning, but they also show that most people in the region want the right to vote on Catalonia’s future.

Catalonia is led by a fragile coalition, and its government has struggled to maintain unity at times as it pursues a unilateral path toward independence. On Wednesday, Miquel Iceta, the leader of the Socialist Party of Catalonia, called on the regional government to abandon plans for the October referendum and stop fueling a secessionist conflict, “which will lead us all toward disaster.”

Follow Raphael Minder on Twitter @RaphaelMinder.


Sounds like trouble is brewing in Spain...

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 Post subject: Re: Tensions Rise in Spain As Catalonia Referendum Nears
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:46 pm 
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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -catalonia

Quote:
Spain Hires Cruise Liner to House Police in Rebel Catalonia

By Charles Penty and Maria Tadeo
September 21, 2017, 5:25 AM EDT

Spain has discreetly hired ferries to be moored in the Port of Barcelona as temporary housing for possibly thousands of police specially deployed to keep order in rebel Catalonia and help suppress an illegal independence referendum.

The country’s interior ministry asked Catalan port authorities to provide a berth for one ship until Oct. 3 -- two days after the planned vote -- saying it was a matter of state, a spokeswoman for the port said by phone Wednesday. The vessel, known as “Rhapsody,” docked in the city about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, she said.

The aim is to amass more than 16,000 riot police and other security officers by the Oct. 1 referendum, El Correo newspaper reported on its website. That would exceed the number of Catalan police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, who serve both the Catalan and central governments.


Spain is putting more boots on the ground in the northeastern region as it arrests local officials, raids regional-government offices and takes control of payroll administration in the run-up to the referendum. The ballot initiative, passed by the Catalan Parliament and declared illegal by the country’s highest court, has escalated a years-long stand-off between pro-independence campaigners and Spain’s central administration in Madrid.

As well as the “Rhapsody,” with capacity for 2,448 people, the ministry also hired another vessel to dock in Barcelona with a third headed for the port of Tarragona, 100 kilometers (60 miles) west along the coast, El Confidencial website reported. The “Rhapsody” is operated by the Italian shipping company Grandi Navi Veloci SpA, the port spokeswoman said.



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 Post subject: Re: Tensions Rise in Spain As Catalonia Referendum Nears
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:48 pm 
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This photo may or may not be connected to what is going on in Catalonia, but it seemed appropriate

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 Post subject: Re: Tensions Rise in Spain As Catalonia Referendum Nears
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:02 pm 
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It's continental Europeans as usual. Whats the predicted number of days and over-under on how soon they start murdering each other?

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 Post subject: Re: Tensions Rise in Spain As Catalonia Referendum Nears
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:08 pm 
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The Catalanos can achieve independance just in time to be conquired by a muslim army. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Tensions Rise in Spain As Catalonia Referendum Nears
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:34 pm 
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jack t ripper wrote:
The Catalanos can achieve independance just in time to be conquired by a muslim army. :lol:



Oh my.....the irony were that to occur.

King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella would be rolling over in their tomb.

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 Post subject: Re: Tensions Rise in Spain As Catalonia Referendum Nears
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:20 am 
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mdiehl wrote:
It's continental Europeans as usual. Whats the predicted number of days and over-under on how soon they start murdering each other?


Living here I can tell you that a lot of Spanish folks are pretty pissed off at the Catalans. Many view their "Independence Movement" as a smoke screen to mismanaging their economy... which is one of the 3 most indebted provinces in Spain.

In general, the Prime Minister, Rejoy, has held fire for way too long IMO. They should have brought the hammer down after the 1st referendum (which the Catalans won by delegates but lost by popular vote).

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 Post subject: Re: Tensions Rise in Spain As Catalonia Referendum Nears
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:05 pm 
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Lava wrote:
mdiehl wrote:
It's continental Europeans as usual. Whats the predicted number of days and over-under on how soon they start murdering each other?


Living here I can tell you that a lot of Spanish folks are pretty pissed off at the Catalans. Many view their "Independence Movement" as a smoke screen to mismanaging their economy... which is one of the 3 most indebted provinces in Spain.

In general, the Prime Minister, Rejoy, has held fire for way too long IMO. They should have brought the hammer down after the 1st referendum (which the Catalans won by delegates but lost by popular vote).

Well, if the Catalans would leave with all their debt, it sounds to be a good thing for the rest of Spain. :roll:

But I think if you compare the debt with the size of the economy, the situation is not so bad at all Catalonia.

But I don't like the idea of secession at all. After Catalonia the Basques will find silly ideas too. :roll:

So it goes.

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 Post subject: Re: Tensions Rise in Spain As Catalonia Referendum Nears
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:10 pm 
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Nero is worried about Catalexit...

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 Post subject: Re: Tensions Rise in Spain As Catalonia Referendum Nears
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:02 am 
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Spain-Exit ...

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