May 07, 2021

Rhetoric heats up over Catalan independence vote

30 Setiembre 2017, 07:19 | Bibiana Flor

EPABarcelona boss Ernesto Valverde says the team agreed to play behind closed doors

Barcelona news Ernesto Valverde

In Barcelona for the final rally on the eve of authorities banned a referendum on Catalan independence left thousands of men.

Sunday's vote was "convened without legality and without an electoral commission, without ballot papers, without polling stations, without official notifications, without an official census and without data protection, without census cards, without electoral administration, and without authorised premises", he said at a press conference in Madrid. "We've been protesting for 10 years, we're not going to stop now with one week to go".

Material from Agence France-Presse was used in this report.

As September draws to an uneasy end in Spain, Oct. 1 looms heavily on the horizon as the date set by the Catalan government for a vote on the creation of a Catalan Republic and secession from Spain.

As such, it has Spaniards the country over anxious.

Catalans who spoke to CNN in Barcelona stressed that what they wanted was the freedom to exercise their democratic right to hold a vote, whatever the outcome.

"We shouldn't have got to this point".

"Pique will train with us and I can not say anything more about that".

Catalan separatist leaders and organizers of "committees to protect the referendum" stressed that everyone must remain peaceful.

"I trust in the common sense of Catalans and that people will operate with prudence", he said.

People gather during a demonstration to support the Catalan independence referendum.

Authorities in Madrid have instructed police to ensure no votes are cast in Sunday's vote.

We will remind, earlier it was reported that Spanish police seized about 2.5 million ballots intended for voting in the referendum on the independence of Catalonia.

But those for the vote have mobilized. Many balconies in the capital are draped with the red and yellow Spanish flag.

They and firefighters have vowed to protect polling stations. Unfortunately, those who already downloaded the app still could use it.

Yet, with less than 48 hours to go, the governments in Madrid and Barcelona continue on a political crash course.

In a show of defiance, some 30 pro-independence activists occupied a school in central Barcelona, saying they were "defending the place where we want to vote".

At the same time, European Union officials say they will not mediate the dispute between Spain and Catalonia, calling it a matter of Spanish law. It's unclear to all parties exactly what will happen as the referendum looms.

Barcelona's Joan Brossa high school, for instance, advertised a series of activities for Friday and Saturday, including film screenings, football matches and Zumba dance fitness classes.

However, those determined to vote have already begun waiting in the schools and other stations so they can not be blocked from entering on Sunday.

The Catalan police, or Mossos d'Esquadra, who are monitoring the schools, are held in great affection by the Catalan people, especially after Islamist attacks in the region in August that killed 16.

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