Catalonia Refuses Spanish Demands To Halt Referendum

The regional government of Catalonia has reiterated today that they will absolutely not comply with the Spanish national government’s orders to abandon the Sunday referendum, saying that there is no legal basis for threatening to arrest those involved in the vote.

Spain has been desperately trying to undermine the vote in recent weeks, sending thousands of national police into Catalonia, threatening people with sedition changes, and raiding sites across the area trying to find ballot papers to seize.

Despite all of that, and in many ways because of that, voters seem more eager to cast ballots than ever. Mounting police threats are having no effect, and people are already queuing up at the polling stations days ahead of schedule.

Catalan officials are expecting a roughly 60% turnout Sunday, meaning in excess of 3 million voters will be at the polls. That appears to underscore the reality that several thousand police can’t really “stop” this vote.

Top photo | A pro-independence protester holds a “estelada” flag, that symbolizes Catalonia’s independence. (AP/Manu Fernandez)


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