Catalans Vote to Split from Spain amid Violent Police Crackdown
Albanian Daily News
Published October 2, 2017
Spain is facing a political crisis after Catalans voted for independence in a contested referendum that descended into violence when police cracked down on polling booths, injuring hundreds.

The Catalan government said late Sunday it had earned the right to independence from Spain after preliminary results showed 90% of respondents were in favor of a split, though turnout was relatively low.
Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that the vote was illegitimate.
"At this point, I can tell you very clearly: Today a self-determination referendum in Catalonia didn't happen," he said in a televised speech.
Some 844 people were injured as riot police raided polling stations, dragged away voters and fired rubber bullets during clashes Sunday -- scenes that reverberated across Europe.
The Catalan government blamed Madrid for the police heavy-handedness and called on the European Union to respond.
"I want to make clear that all responsibility, all violence acts, repression is exclusively on the government of Rajoy, " the region's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ral Romeva said.
"Today Europe has to choose, shame or dignity. Violence or democracy, this is our demand. With this demand, we begin to work for a response to these circumstances. The absence of a response would suppose a lack and loss of credibility to the EU and its institutions."
Anti-independence demonstrators march waving Spanish flags against the referendum downtown Barcelona on September 30. The planned referendum is due to be held Sunday by the pro-independence Catalan government but Spain's government calls the vote illegal, since it violates the constitution, and the country's Constitutional Court has ordered it suspended.
Polls open for Catalonia referendum vote
soares keeping the dream alive_00001815.jpg
High tensions surround Catalonia referendum
intv amanpour Alfonso Dastis Catalonia_00012020.jpg
Spanish FM: Catalonia referendum is 'a charade'
People hold Catalan flags as they listen to Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speak via a televised press conference as they await the result of the Indepenence Referendum at the Placa de Catalunya on October 1 in Barcelona, Spain.
Catalans vote to split from Spain
Spanish National Police clashes with pro-referendum supporters in Barcelona Sunday, Oct. 1 2017. Catalonia's planned referendum on secession is due to be held Sunday by the pro-independence Catalan government but Spain's government calls the vote illegal, since it violates the constitution, and the country's Constitutional Court has ordered it suspended.
The Catalan government said late Sunday it had earned the right to independence from Spain after preliminary results showed 90% of respondents were in favor of a split, though turnout was relatively low.
Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that the vote was illegitimate.
"At this point, I can tell you very clearly: Today a self-determination referendum in Catalonia didn't happen," he said in a televised speech.
Some 844 people were injured as riot police raided polling stations, dragged away voters and fired rubber bullets during clashes Sunday -- scenes that reverberated across Europe.
The Catalan government blamed Madrid for the police heavy-handedness and called on the European Union to respond.
"I want to make clear that all responsibility, all violence acts, repression is exclusively on the government of Rajoy, " the region's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ral Romeva said.
"Today Europe has to choose, shame or dignity. Violence or democracy, this is our demand. With this demand, we begin to work for a response to these circumstances. The absence of a response would suppose a lack and loss of credibility to the EU and its institutions."

Catalonia's separatist government pushed forward with the vote despite opposition from Madrid and a ruling from the country's top court declaring it illegal.
Catalan nationalists argue the region is a separate nation with its own history, culture and language, and that it should have increased fiscal independence.



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