Friday, 17 November, 2017

Catalan official accuses European Union of tacitly backing Madrid

140 pro-independence websites shut down in Catalonia Catalan police warn of public disorder if polling stations closed
Sammy Stanley | 29 September, 2017, 00:33

AS the government in Madrid continues to block any website providing information on the upcoming Catalan referendum, hackers from across the globe are getting involved to help out the Catalans - most notably the Russians.

Spain's Constitutional Court ruled at the beginning of this month the referendum, which could split Spain in two, would be unconstitutional.

"By proving itself incapable of finding a solution during all this time, the Spanish government has allowed the Catalan conflict to escalate from an internal dispute to a European conflict", Colau said.

Despite this, the Catalan government has promised to go ahead with the independence referendum it says is binding. The force's loyalty has been torn between the central and regional governments.

Barcelona's mayor Ada Colau on September 28 called for European Union mediation in the standoff over Catalonia's planned independence referendum in an opinion piece in Britain's Guardian daily. All police members are being told to close any schools and planned polling stations over the weekend to prevent the vote, along with prohibiting voting boxes within 100 meters of where Catalan official plan to have a polling station.

Catalan foreign affairs representative Raul Romeva said in Brussels that European Union institutions need to "understand that (the referendum) is a big issue".

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Romeva spoke hours before thousands of striking Catalan university students, many carrying pro-independence flags, marched in Barcelona to protest the ongoing crackdown.

"The Spanish government has allowed the Catalan conflict to rise from internal discussion to an European conflict", said Colau, adding that Europe cannot remain "passive" on this issue.

It added that Spanish authorities' judicial measures against Catalan media to stem propaganda for the referendum have created an atmosphere of extreme tension.

He said that he doesn't expect violence, because "it's not in the Catalan DNA to use violence to solve political problems".

Romeva accused the Spanish government of a "brutal crackdown" on Catalan officials to try to prevent Sunday's referendum, which Spain considers to be illegal, and that it's "generated an unprecedented level of shock".

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