Spanish police have seized more than a million pro-referendum posters and pamphlets in Catalonia, according to government officials. Authorities claimed the 1.3 million prints, which included about 700,000 leaflets promoting a "yes" vote in the region's planned vote on independence, from a warehouse near Barcelona on Sunday. "The proceedings were carried out during the morning of today [Sunday] and are the result of investigations carried out by the Civil Guard of Catalonia for the localisation of materials that promote the referendum suspended by the Constitutional Court," the interior ministry said in a statement. "This is the largest intervention of this illegal material made so far. Altogether, almost one and a half million materials to promote the illegal referendum, as well as printing plates, have been used so far," it added.
A nation, a Spanish region, an aspiring independent state: however you define it, Catalonia has become a byword in Spain for controversy and political conflict. Now, the deadlock between Catalonia's devolved government, which wants independence, and Spain's central government, which has always ruled out a vote on the issue, has reached a critical moment. Tweetie Pie, the yellow Warner Bros cartoon bird known here as Piolín, adorns a cruise ship parked in Barcelona port. There are no tourists on board the huge floating hotel. A Spanish government minister refused to tell me exactly how many national Spanish police were on board.
MADRID – Spanish police on Sunday seized 1.3 million pamphlets and posters supporting Catalonia's independence referendum, the latest move to try to block the vote. Catalonia's pro-separatist government is determined to hold a referendum on Oct.1, despite it being banned by Spain's Constitutional Court. The documents were seized at an advertising distribution company near Barcelona, the Spanish interior ministry said in a statement. Among the documents were about 700,000 leaflets promoting a "yes" vote in the referendum and 370,000 fliers with logo of the Catalan government along with 138,000 posters for the far-left Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party. Faced with a determined Catalan government, Spain has multiplied its efforts to crack down on the referendum, having previously seized propaganda material and threatened to arrest Catalan mayors who allow the vote.
BARCELONA/VIC, SPAIN – Catalonian pro-independence leader Carles Puigdemont has called for the European Union to mediate with Spain over the region's future, but for many Catalans the intensity of a police crackdown on a banned referendum may mean it is too late for compromise. Spain was bracing for further political upheaval Wednesday after Puigdemont said the region would declare independence "in a matter of days." Puigdemont, the Catalan regional leader, told the BBC on Tuesday that his government would "act at the end of this week or the beginning of next." He spoke after hundreds of thousands of Catalans rallied in fury over violence by police against voters during Sunday's banned referendum on independence. The central government and national courts have branded the referendum illegal.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says the region has won the right to statehood following Sunday's contentious referendum which was marred by violence. He said the door had been opened to a unilateral declaration of independence. Catalan officials later said 90% of those who voted backed independence. Hundreds of people were injured as Spanish police used force to try to block voting. The Spanish government had pledged to stop a referendum that was declared illegal by the country's constitutional court.