Tension grows as Catalan referendum date looms

Security forces have been ordered to search out and confiscate ballot boxes

Guardia Civil vehicles which were wrecked by the crowd while officers searched a building (Photo: EFE)

EVERY day is seeing new developments as Madrid seeks to prevent Cataluña staging a referendum on independence from Spain this Sunday. After the Constitutional Court suspended the Catalan regional parliament’s decision on September 6 and 7 to hold the consultation, the government of prime minister Mariano Rajoy has been putting every legal obstacle in the way of regional president Carles Puigdemont.

In the last week, Barcelona has seen violence outside a government building being searched by Guardia Civil officers whose vehicles were looted and wrecked, the public prosecutor has ordered a senior state-appointed police coordinator to take charge of security across all police forces, and hundreds of officers from elsewhere in Spain are arriving to support them.

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