The atmosphere is heating up in Catalonia. 10 days before the referendum on secession of an Autonomous region of Spain, the official Madrid is doing everything to prevent it. Already arrested 14 employees of the regional administration, seized the ballot boxes, 45 000 documents and nearly 10 million ballots. Everything points to the fact that the upcoming October 1 if the referendum is held, not on a peaceful Scottish scenario: to protest against the arrests of the Catalan Ministers have already reached approximately 40,000 people.
Catalonia, one of the richest regions of Spain with its own language, not for the first time is trying to become independent. But all attempts of the local Parliament to initiate the process of legal separation was blocked by the country’s constitutional court. Therefore, all the previous referenda were informal and official Madrid did not recognize them. Another attempt to become independent Catalonia was appointed on 1 October. But it is the highest court in Spain declared illegal.
The administration of the Autonomous region did not stop, and she began preparations for the plebiscite. Madrid reacted to such a move is hard enough — sent the Catalan police force on vacation until October 5, but instead they sent the Metropolitan police units. Spanish police took up the case: at least 14 employees of the Catalan ministries were under arrest, were seized almost 10 million ballots and 45,000 documents.
Officials of Catalonia was charged with “disobedience, abuse of power and embezzlement”. At the same time, the Spanish authorities established control over the financial system of the breakaway region, to the Treasury funds not go for a referendum.
The policy of Madrid could not appeal to the ordinary Catalans. Therefore, about 40,000 people came out to protest to the doors of the Ministry of economy of the region. They chanted: “we will vote” and “get away with, Spanish police.” The guards were rather reserved and did not try to disperse the demonstrators. On the night of September 21, the Catalans used the “heavy artillery”, took to the streets with pots and ladles and staged a deafening protest, slamming into them hard. Even in Madrid in support of the Catalan referendum has come to hold a meeting of several hundred people.
Citizens of the Autonomous region irritating is not so much what their home region is still part of Spain, but the fact that even the official Madrid does not give them the right to speak. According to the survey, which was conducted in July at the initiative of the Catalan authorities, 49.4% of people in the region do not want to separate and only 41.1% are ready to vote Yes. However, 70% of Catalans wanted a referendum was held.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy urged the Catalans: “Stop the escalation of radicalism and unrest once and for all. There’s still time to avoid major problems”. “Disobedience to the local authorities law is not a democracy, but its opposite, — he added. — Is a Chimera used to justify further deepening divisions that they have played in the Catalan society.”
Local authorities hold a different point of view. The President of Catalonia, Carles Pocmont condemned the “totalitarian and anti-democratic approach of the Spanish government” and accused Madrid in establishing “de facto” state of emergency. In favor of “freedom of expression and self-determination” has officially commented and the football club “Barcelona”, supporting his countrymen.
EU institutions and foreign leaders while they prefer not to interfere in the internal dispute of Spain and refrained from comment. Main question is: do escalate peaceful protests into armed clashes? Catalonia has its own police, called “mossos d d Esquadra” who is not trying to interfere with the actions of their Metropolitan colleagues. But will they continue to remain silent?