ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com September 22, 2017


Catalan mayors defiant over independence vote pressure

17 September 2017, 09:15 | Myron Mathis

Catalan regional President Carles Puigdemont speaks during a Catalan pro-independence meeting at Tarraco Arena in Tarragona Thomson Reuters

Catalan regional President Carles Puigdemont speaks during a Catalan pro-independence meeting at Tarraco Arena in Tarragona south of Barcelona Spain

Hundreds of mayors from the Spanish region of Catalonia marched through the streets of Barcelona in an act of defiance to the central government's crackdown on the upcoming separatist referendum.

Political tensions in Spain are increasing as the proposed voting date of October 1 nears.

Catalonia's wealth and the substantial support for secession has led the central government toward increasingly desperate measures to stop the vote, including imposing direct control over most public services in Catalonia to prevent local government officials cooperating with the vote using any official funds. On Friday, Catalonia's highest court also issued a warning to seven local newspapers not to print any notices for the independence referendum.

"We will not be intimidated".

According to July poll, only 41 percent of Catalans favor independence but almost 70 want a vote.


She pointed to the Edinburgh Agreement, signed in the build-up to the Scottish independence referendum, as to how governments can work together in such circumstances. It is unclear what arrangement was reached.

Some of the mayors gathered with Catalan President Carles Puigdemont outside the headquarters of the regional government, the Generalitat Palace, as supporters waved the lone-star flag of the independence movement, the report said.

In response, Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, said, "I say this both calmly and firmly: there will be no referendum, it won't happen".

The nationalist protests are not only a show of solidarity with Catalonia's mayors, but a push back on several Spanish government attempts to censure the referendum that Catalan lawmakers announced on September 6.

Police in recent days have conduced raids seizing printing materials, ballots and other materials to support the referendum.



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