By Steve Dellar  |  09-21-2017   News
Photo credit: @bcnbirding | Twitter

Barcelona goes to the polls in 12 days from now to vote on independence from Spain. The Spanish government however is not too happy about this plan. Catalonia, the region of which Barcelona is the capital, is the richest and economically the most advanced region in Spain.

It is often said that Catalonian taxes pay for three other regions. If you have travelled to Spain as many times as I have over the past few years, you will know this is true.

However, as already stated, the Spanish government is not going to stand idly by whilst this happens. First they tried to block the independence referendum in parliament, then in court. Both actions failed.

Today they stepped up their actions. The Guardia Civil, Spanish police, raided several Catalan ministries and arrested 14 Catalan officials.

Tensions were already high when a major Catalan politician was arrested, but with this news on top, thousands of Catalan citizens took to the streets in protest.

The Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, has proclaimed the state had no other choice left but to act in this manner.

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Right now. In downtown Barcelona. <br>Enough is enough. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Catalonia?src=hash">#Catalonia</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Independence?src=hash">#Independence</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Now?src=hash">#Now</a> <a href="https://t.co/OudhcTsLuY">pic.twitter.com/OudhcTsLuY</a></p>&mdash; ANC USA (@ANC_USA) <a href="https://twitter.com/ANC_USA/status/910483360161681408">September 20, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Reports claim that police took six million ballot papers found in a warehouse just outside Barcelona, making it impossible for independence organizers to hold the referendum.

The Catalan President Carles Puigdemont in the Barcelona parliament this afternoon accused the Madrid government of suspending the region's autonomy and imposing a state of emergency.

Now of course Catalonia’s independence vote is nothing now. already in 2014 they held one, where the vote to become independent won, but that was not legal, not recognized, and Catalonian politicians in favor of independence did not control the parliament as they do now.

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Peaceful protesters shout &quot;We will vote&quot; to Spanish Guardia Civil officers in front of Dept of Economy <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Catalonia?src=hash">#Catalonia</a> <a href="https://t.co/zXjJoEA1Y3">pic.twitter.com/zXjJoEA1Y3</a></p>&mdash; Liz Castro (@lizcastro) <a href="https://twitter.com/lizcastro/status/910403110413193216">September 20, 2017</a></blockquote>

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In the above video you can see protesters chanting in Catalonian (a Spanish dialect if you will): “we will vote,” in front of the local police station.

The plan for 1 October, if the vote can be held and if Catalonians vote to become independent, is to declare independence within 48 hours.

Whether it will happen now, only time will tell.

Source:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41331152

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