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De Facto State of Emergency: Spanish Police Storm Catalonia Government Office

Courtesy of Mish.

The Independent reports Spanish police storm Catalan government buildings to stop independence referendum.

The Catalan president described the raids as a “co-ordinated police assault” and a “de facto state of emergency”.

Spanish national police have stormed ministries and buildings belonging to Catalonia’s regional government to put a stop to the region’s independence referendum.

In the early hours of the morning armed officers arrived at various Catalan ministries, including the economy department, foreign affairs department, and social affairs department, Spanish media reports.

At least twelve Catalan officials are said to have been arrested, including the chief aide to Catalonia’s deputy prime minister, Josep Maria Jové. The arrests come as the mayors of Catalan towns who back the referendum were yesterday questioned by state prosecutors.

Pro-independence crowds have formed outside the regional ministries in support of the provincial government and in protest against the raids and searches.

Speaking at lunchtime Carles Puigdemont, the president of the Catalonian government, said the Spanish government had “de facto suspended” home rule in the province.

Spanish Assembly Rejects Use of Force

The tactics of prime minister Mariano Rajoy have not won him any popularity contests.

The Spanish national assembly on Wednesday rejected a motion to support the Spanish government’s heavy-handed response to the the referendum by 166 votes against to 158 in favor, after the centre-left opposition party PSOE teamed up with left-wingers Podemos and smaller separatist parties in the parliament.

After news of the raids broke on Wednesday, separatist political parties, as well as Podemos, cancelled all their planned political events for the rest of the day.

“It is unacceptable for there to be political prisoners in a European democracy. The Partido Popular leads us to an authoritarian regression that cannot be tolerated,” a spokesperson for Podemos said on social media.

Government Suspended

The Guardian reports Catalan president says Madrid is suspending region’s autonomy.

The Catalan president has accused the Spanish government of effectively suspending the region’s autonomy and declaring a de facto state of emergency. Police officers raided Catalan government offices on Wednesday and arrested 12 senior officials in a bid to stop an independence referendum being held in less than two weeks’ time.

Carles Puigdemont described the raids as a “a co-ordinated police assault” that showed that Madrid “has de facto suspended self-government and applied a de facto state of emergency” in Catalonia.

Speaking after an emergency ministerial meeting, Puigdemont vowed the poll would go ahead, adding: “We reaffirm our peaceful response. The Spanish government has crossed a red line and become a democratic disgrace.”

The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, tweeted: “Searching public bodies and arresting officials for political reasons is a democratic scandal. We defend Catalan institutions.”

Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau

Es un escàndol democràtic que s’escorcolli institucions i es detinguin càrrecs públics per motius polítics. Defensem institucions catalanes

— Ada Colau (@AdaColau) September 20, 2017

Best Wishes to Catalonia

Be courageous – Let the Vote Take Place!

— Mike Mish Shedlock (@MishGEA) September 20, 2017

Mayor Colau is against independence but she does want to allow the vote.


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