Posts Tagged ‘Spanish police’

Catalan Commission to Investigate Claims of Abuse During Banned Referendum

October 2, 2017

MADRID — Catalonia will create a special commission to investigate claims of abuse by Spanish police during a banned referendum on independence on Sunday after more than 800 people were left injured, leader of region Carles Puigdemont said on Monday.

Thousands of Spanish police were shipped in to the region to prevent the vote on secession though scenes of violence due to heavy-handed tactics by armoured, baton-carrying riot units have received international condemnation.

The vote which the constitutional court banned and Madrid said was illegal, yet still attracted millions of defiant voters, was valid and binding, Puigdemont said during a conference.

The Catalan leader said he had had no contact with Spain’s central government and called on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to say whether he was in favour of mediation in talks over the region’s future, which should be overseen by the European Union.

(Reporting by Inmaculada Sanz; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Sonya Dowsett)

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Catalonia: 90 per cent of the 2.26m votes cast in favour of independence — Police crackdown drew condemnation from parts of Europe

October 2, 2017

Catalonia October 1, 2017 — A woman tends to her injuries in front of riot police near a school being used as a polling station CREDIT: GERALDINE HOPE GHELLI/BLOOMBERG

By Michael Stothard in Barcelona and Ian Mount in Girona
The Financial Times

Catalonia’s president said the region’s citizens had “earned the right to have an independent state” after more than 2m people defied Spanish government attempts to halt Sunday’s referendum and overwhelmingly backed independence.

“My government, in the next few days, will send the results of today’s vote to the Catalan parliament, where the sovereignty of our people lies,” Carles Puigdemont said in a televised address from Barcelona.

Late on Sunday the Catalan government said 90 per cent of the 2.26m votes cast — about 40 per cent of the 5.4m eligible voters — had been in favour of independence.

Mr Puigdemont’s comments came after a day of violence across the region.

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Earlier, Spanish police had smashed their way into polling stations, hitting people with truncheons and firing rubber bullets in an attempt to stop a referendum that the country’s constitutional court had ruled illegal.

Catalan authorities said more than 760 people were injured when armed national police confiscated ballot boxes across Barcelona and other cities. Spain’s interior ministry said 11 police had been hurt trying to stop the vote.

The regional government claimed that 96 per cent of polling stations had been able to open for at least part of the day. It had previously said it would declare independence within 48 hours of a Yes vote.

In much of Catalonia, voting took place peacefully.

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As polls closed at 8pm, Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish prime minister, addressed the nation to say that the rule of law had prevailed and there had been “no self-determination referendum” in Catalonia. He told Catalan officials not to take “new steps that lead nowhere”, and called the vote an “attack on the rule of law”, claiming the majority of Catalans did not support independence.

“We did what we had to do,” he said. “We are the government of Spain, I am the prime minister and I assume my responsibilities.

“There was no referendum. What we have seen was a mere dramatisation.”

Shortly afterwards, Pedro Sánchez, the Socialist leader, condemned the violence of the day and called for talks between the two sides. He said that “opening a political negotiation channel” was “more urgent than ever”.

The crackdown drew condemnation from parts of Europe, including from Charles Michel, the Belgian prime minister.

Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona, called for the resignation of Mr Rajoy after what she denounced as “police action against a peaceful population”.

The vote threatens to trigger one of the gravest political and constitutional crises in Spain’s 40-year-old democracy.

Analysts said Mr Rajoy risked losing the political initiative because of the violence. “Two weeks ago, Rajoy had a powerful narrative to sell following the Catalan parliament’s breach of the constitution,” said Antonio Barroso, an analyst at Teneo Intelligence. “Sunday’s violence will make things harder for him.”

The independence drive was, in effect, aided by the 17,000-strong Catalan police force, which appeared unwilling to seize ballot boxes or stop the voting, drawing a stinging criticism from the national government.

Enric Millo, the Spanish government’s representative in Catalonia, criticised the local police for taking a “political line” and not enforcing the law to prevent the referendum taking place.

However, there were many scenes of confrontation, spurring condemnation of Spain from European politicians such as Mr Michel and Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s opposition Labour party.

In the town of Sant Julià de Ramis, Girona, about 60 national police forcibly removed voters from the polling place where Mr Puigdemont was scheduled to vote. As they dragged away voters who had locked arms in front of the polling station, the assembled crowd chanted “Votarem” — “We will vote”. Mr Puigdemont finally voted just before 10am local time at Cornellá de Terri.

At a Barcelona polling station, Isa, a schoolteacher, said of the police: “I was so afraid, they were so big and they grabbed me. It’s not going to stop me, though. I’m going to find somewhere else.”

In an attempt to facilitate the referendum, which Madrid says violates the Spanish constitution’s description of the country as “indivisible”, Catalan authorities announced that voters could cast their ballot in any part of the region.

The move led to a battle between Catalonia and Madrid in cyber space. Electoral volunteers at some voting stations said they were unable to access census data because the website that hosted it was down, while internet service has been cut in other stations.

The Catalan government’s plan to react to the vote could take the extreme step of declaring unilateral independence. This could in turn force the Spanish state to step in and temporarily suspend Catalan autonomy, taking Madrid into uncharted constitutional territory.
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https://www.ft.com/content/45585b06-a62b-11e7-ab55-27219df83c97

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See also The Telegraph:

Catalonian referendum violence plunges EU into crisis as ’90pc of voters back independence’

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/01/eu-crisis-catalonian-referendum-descends-violence/

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Spanish riot police in Barcelona on Sunday. Photograph by Emilio Morenatti for AP

“Yes” wins Catalonia independence vote marred by violence — 844 civilians treated in hospitals for injuries, plus 33 police officers

October 2, 2017

The Associated Press

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Catalonia’s regional government declared a landslide win for the “yes” side in a disputed referendum on independence from Spain that degenerated into mayhem Sunday, with more than 800 people injured as riot police attacked peaceful protesters and unarmed civilians trying to cast their ballots.

Catalonia has “won the right to become an independent state,” Catalan president Carles Puigdemont said after the polls closed, adding that he would keep his pledge to declare independence unilaterally if the “yes” side wins.

“Today the Spanish state wrote another shameful page in its history with Catalonia,” Puigdemont added, saying he would appeal to the European Union to look into alleged human rights violations during the vote.

Catalan regional government spokesman Jordi Turull told reporters early Monday that 90 percent of the 2.26 million Catalans who voted chose the “yes” side in favor of independence. He said nearly 8 percent of voters rejected independence and the rest of the ballots were blank or void. He said 15,000 votes were still being counted.

The region has 5.3 million registered voters, and Turull said the number of ballots didn’t include those confiscated by Spanish police during violent raids that aimed to stop the vote.

Spanish riot police attacked peaceful protesters in Catalonia on Sunday to try to disrupt a banned independence vote, injuring more than 700 people as Spain’s constitutional crisis deepened. (Oct. 1)

No one knows what will happen if Catalan officials follow through on their pledge to use the vote as a basis for declaring independence, a provocation that would possible remove from Spain one of its most prosperous regions, including the coastal city of Barcelona, the regional capital.

Hundreds of police armed with truncheons and rubber bullets were sent in from other regions to confiscate ballots and stop the voting, and amateur video showed some officers dragging people out of polling stations by the hair, throwing some down stairs, kicking them and pushing them to the ground. Anguished, frightened screams could be heard.

Police were acting on a judge’s orders to stop the referendum, which the Spanish government had declared illegal and unconstitutional — and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said going forward with the vote only served to sow divisions.

In a televised address after the majority of polls closed Sunday, he thanked the Spanish police, saying they had acted with “firmness and serenity” — comments sure to anger Catalans.

Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said the violence, while “unfortunate” and “unpleasant” was “proportionate.”

“If people insist in disregarding the law and doing something that has been consistently declared illegal and unconstitutional, law enforcement officers need to uphold the law,” Dastis told The Associated Press in an interview.

Catalans favoring a break with Spain have long wanted more than the limited autonomy they now have, arguing that they contribute far more than they receive from the central government, which controls key areas including taxes and infrastructure. The police aggression on Sunday was likely to only fuel the passion for independence, and the main separatist group urged the regional government to declare independence after the violent crackdown.

By day’s end, Catalan health services said 844 civilians had been treated in hospitals for injuries, including two in serious condition and another person who was being treated for an eye injury that fit the profile of having been hit by a rubber bullet. Thirty-three police officers were also injured.

At the Pau Claris School in Barcelona, amateur footage filmed by one voter showed police roughing up unarmed people standing in their way. Amateur video from other locations showed similar tactics, with people seen being hit, kicked and thrown around by police, including elderly people with their dogs, young girls and regular citizens of all stripes. Many tried to shield themselves from being smacked on the head.

There were also some signs of provocation by activists. In footage released by the Spanish Interior Ministry, some protesters were seen throwing objects and metal barriers at riot police.

Elisa Arouca, who was waiting to vote outside the Estel school in central Barcelona, reacted with anger when national police agents yanked her and other prospective voters out of the way, then smashed open the door and confiscated the ballot boxes.

She had been planning to vote in favor of keeping Catalonia part of Spain, but decided instead to join the march for independence. She moved to another polling station to try and cast her vote in favor of breaking away.

“I was always against independence, but what the Spanish state is doing is making me change my mind,” she said. “The national police and civil guard are treating us like criminals.”

There was no organized campaign for the “no” side in the vote, which most national political parties boycotted because it lacked legal guarantees and was suspended by the courts. Polls in recent years have shown roughly half of the 7.5 million residents of the region want to remain a part of Spain.

Mari Martinez, a 43-year-old waitress, said she didn’t vote. “I don’t lean toward independence, because we are part of Spain,” she said. “Today’s violence is not good for anybody. We never should have gotten to this point. Politicians haven’t done their job, and they should have reached an agreement a long time ago.”

A member of the Israeli parliament, sent to observe the vote, said she was shocked by the use of rubber bullets by Spanish police against crowds of unarmed voters.

“We did expect a normal democratic process,” said Ksenia Svetlova, part of a delegation of 33 observers invited by Catalan officials. “We knew that a lot of police were here but still, you know, there should be a respect for the will of the people to vote regardless of what you think of the referendum.”

Tensions were running so high that Barcelona played its soccer game against Las Palmas without fans after the team announced the match would be played behind closed doors shortly before kickoff, with thousands of soccer fans already outside the stadium. Barcelona wanted to postpone the game but said the Spanish league refused the request.

Manuel Condeminas, a 48-year-old IT manager who tried to block police from driving away with ballot boxes on Sunday, said police had kicked him and others before using their batons and firing the rubber bullets.

Elsewhere, civil guard officers, wearing helmets and carrying shields, used a hammer to break the glass of the front door and a lock cutter to break into the Sant Julia de Ramis sports center near the city of Girona that was being used as a polling station. A woman injured outside the building was wheeled away on a stretcher by paramedics.

Clashes broke out less than an hour after polls opened, and not long before Puigdemont, the Catalan regional president, was expected to turn up to vote at the sports center. Polling station workers reacted peacefully and broke out into songs and chants challenging the officers’ presence. Puigdemont was forced to vote in Cornella de Terri, near the northern city of Girona, his spokesman said.

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Associated Press writer Alex Oller contributed to this report from Barcelona, and Gregory Katz and Frank Griffiths contributed from London.

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Spanish riot police in Barcelona on Sunday. Photograph by Emilio Morenatti for AP

Over 460 People Injured in Catalonia During Referendum: Barcelona Mayor

October 1, 2017

MADRID — More than 460 people have been injured in disturbances across Catalonia on Sunday, the Barcelona mayor said, as riot police clashed with people who had gathered for a banned referendum on the region’s independence from the rest of Spain.

“As mayor of Barcelona I demand an immediate end to police charges against the defenseless population,” Ada Colau said in a statement.

In a separate statement, the Catalan health service said 465 had been hurt, with two in serious condition in hospital.

(Reporting by Sonya Dowsett; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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Spanish riot police in Barcelona on Sunday. Photograph by Emilio Morenatti for AP

Catalonia’s independence referendum descends into violence — Hundreds of people have been injured as riot police shut down polling stations — ‘Police brutality will shame forever the Spanish state.’

October 1, 2017

A man covered in blood with his shirt torn is escorted by police officers as violent clashes broke out in the northeastern region

A man covered in blood with his shirt torn is escorted by police officers as violent clashes broke out in the northeastern region

  • Officers were seen storming buildings across Catalonia to seize ballot boxes and prevent voting
  • The Spanish government in Madrid has declared the vote illegal and ordered it be shut down 
  • Separatists pledged to hold the referendum anyway and called on 5.3million eligible citizens to vote
  • Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest against their votes being taken away
  • Catalan’s government said at least 337 people had been injured in the clashes, some seriously 

Hundreds of people have been injured as riot police shut down polling stations on the day of the controversial independence referendum in Catalonia.

Officers were seen storming buildings across the northeastern Spanish region before walking out with seized ballot boxes.

Footage captured in the village of Sarria de Ter in the province of Girona showed authorities using an axe to smash down the doors of a polling station where Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was due to cast his vote.

And in Barcelona, the region’s capital, officers fired rubber bullets at thousands of protesters demonstrating against their votes being denied.

At least 337 have been hurt in the clashes with some seriously injured, a Catalan government spokesman said, while FC Barcelona’s football match with Las Palmas has been suspended.

Spain’s Constitutional Court has suspended the referendum and the central government says it is illegal.

But regional separatist leaders pledged to hold it anyway and called on the area’s 5.3million eligible voters to show up to cast their ballots.

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Spanish National Police prevents people from entering a voting site for the controversial referendum in Barcelona 

Spanish National Police prevents people from entering a voting site for the controversial referendum in Barcelona

Spanish Guardia Civil officers smash down the door of a polling station where the Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was due to vote in Sarria de Ter

Spanish Guardia Civil officers smash down the door of a polling station where the Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was due to vote in Sarria de Ter

A man falls to the ground during scuffles with Spanish Civil Guard officers outside a polling station in Sant Julia de Ramis

A man falls to the ground during scuffles with Spanish Civil Guard officers outside a polling station in Sant Julia de Ramis

People tend to the head wound of an elderly woman siting on a staircase as protesters take to the streets in Barcelona

People tend to the head wound of an elderly woman siting on a staircase as protesters take to the streets in Barcelona

A police officer fires rubber bullets at thousands of protesters demonstrating against their votes being taken away

A police officer fires rubber bullets at thousands of protesters demonstrating against their votes being taken away

Today Mr Puidgemont condemned the Spanish government’s crack down. He said: ‘Police brutality will shame forever the Spanish state.’

But the Spanish deputy prime minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said officers in Catalonia are acting ‘in a proportionate manner’.

She added that the Catalan government ‘has behaved with absolute irresponsibility’ by going ahead with the referendum.

He was pictured casting his vote in Cornella de Terri, near the northern city of Girona, after the original polling centre where he was due to appear was closed down.

In Barcelona, police forcefully removed a few hundred would-be voters from a polling station at a school.

Daniel Riano was inside when the police busted in the building’s front door.

The 54-year-old said: ‘We were waiting inside to vote when the National Police used force to enter, they used a mace to break in the glass door and they took everything.

‘One policeman put me in a headlock to drag me out, while I was holding my wife’s hand. It was incredible. They didn’t give any warning.’

Ferran Miralles said a crowd scuffled with police outside as they formed a tight perimeter around the door. Miralles said: ‘They were very aggressive. They pushed me out of the way.’

Elsewhere in the city, police have arrested several people outside the Treball voting centre amid scuffles on the street. Officers dragged some of the protesters away and detained them.

Catalonia’s government spokesman said this morning that the disputed independence referendum was underway in 73 per cent of about 6,000 polling stations despite the police crackdown.

People began arriving before dawn to join parents, children and activists who have been occuping polling stations across the region with the aim of preventing police from shutting them down.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4937860/Riot-police-clash-voters-Catalonia.html#ixzz4uGR2HT7I
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Catalan Leader Accuses Spain of ‘Unjustified Violence’ — Thirty-Eight Injured by Police So Far in Catalonia Vote Effort on Sunday

October 1, 2017

BARCELONA — Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont accused Spanish authorities of using “unjustified, disproportionate and irresponsible” violence in a crackdown on a Catalan independence referendum on Sunday.

The batons, rubber bullets and violence used by Spanish police to prevent voting in what Spanish authorities have said was an illegal referendum had shown a “dreadful external image of Spain”, he told reporters.

“The unjustified, disproportionate and irresponsible violence of the Spanish state today has not only failed to stop Catalans’ desire to vote … but has helped to clarify all the doubts we had to resolve today,” he said.

(Reporting by Inmaculada Sanz, Adrian Croft; Editing by Sonya Dowsett)

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Spanish riot police in Barcelona on Sunday. Photograph by Emilio Morenatti for AP

MADRID — Emergency services have attended to 38 people injured in police charges as officers stormed voting stations to stop a banned referendum on independence from Spain in the northeastern region of Catalonia, the Catalan emergency services said on Sunday.

Most of those people sustained slight injuries and three suffered more serious injuries, the Catalan services said on Twitter.

(Reporting by Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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Spanish police use axes to smash their way into Catalan voting center

October 1, 2017

The Associated Press

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Spanish Civil Guard officers break through a door at a polling station for the banned independence referendum. Reuters

SANT JULIA DE RAMIS, Spain — Spanish riot police smashed their way into the polling station where Catalonia’s regional leader was due to vote in the disputed independence referendum on Sunday.Scuffles erupted outside between police and people waiting to vote.

Civil Guard officers, wearing helmets and carrying shields, used a hammer to break the glass of the front door and a lock cutter to break into the Sant Julia de Ramis sports center near the city of Girona. At least one woman was injured outside the building and wheeled away on a stretcher by paramedics.

Clashes broke out less than an hour after polls opened, and not long before Catalonia regional president Carles Puigdemont was expected to turn up to vote. Polling station workers inside the building reacted peacefully and broke out into songs and chants challenging the officers’ presence.

National Police and Civil Guard officers also showed up in other polling centers where Catalan officials were expected.

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Catalans defied rain and police orders to leave designated polling stations for the banned referendum on the region’s secession that has challenged Spain’s political and institutional order.

The country’s Constitutional Court has suspended the vote and the Spanish central government says it’s illegal.

Regional separatist leaders have pledged to hold it anyway, promising to declare independence if the “yes” side wins, and have called on 5.3 million eligible voters to cast ballots.

Reporters with The Associated Press saw ballot boxes wrapped in plastic bags being carried into some of the polling stations in Barcelona occupied by parents, children and activists before some polling stations could open at 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) as scheduled.

The plastic ballot boxes, bearing the seal of the Catalan regional government, were placed on tables, prompting the cheering of hopeful voters that had gathered in schools before dawn.

Some 2,300 facilities had been designated as polling stations, but it was unclear how many were able to open. The Ministry of Interior didn’t provide a number late on Saturday when it said that “most” of them had been sealed off and that only “some” remained occupied.

Police have received orders to avoid the use of force and only have been warning people to vacate the facilities. They are also supposed to confiscate ballots and ballot boxes.

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In an effort to overcome myriad obstacles, Catalan officials announced that voters would be allowed to cast ballots in any location and using ballots printed at home, rather than in designated polling stations as previously announced.

Regional government spokesman Jordi Turull also said that a group of “academics and professionals” would serve as election observers. The official electoral board appointed by the regional parliament was disbanded last week to avoid hefty fines by Spain’s Constitutional Court.

“We are under conditions to be able to celebrate a self-determination referendum with guarantees,” Turull said in a press conference. “Our goal is that all Catalans can vote.”

Tension has been on the rise since the vote was called in early September, crystalizing years of defiance by separatists in the affluent region, which contributes a fifth of Spain’s 1.1 trillion-euro economy ($1.32 trillion.)

Spain’s 2008-2013 financial crisis and harsh austerity measures fueled frustration in Catalonia for setbacks in efforts to gain greater autonomy, with many Catalans feeling they could do better on their own.

Courts and police have been cracking down for days to halt the vote, confiscating 10 million paper ballots and arresting key officials involved in the preparations. On Saturday, Civil Guard agents dismantled the technology to connect voting stations, count the votes and vote online, leading the Spanish government to announce that holding the referendum would be “impossible.”

Joaquim Bosch, a 73-year-old retiree at Princep de Viana high school, where a crowd of 20 people was growing Sunday morning, said he was uneasy about a possible police response to the crowds.

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Catalan Mayors Exercise Right to Remain Silent in Referendum Questioning

September 19, 2017

BARCELONA — The first of hundreds of Catalan mayors summoned to answer questions on why they have backed a banned Oct. 1 referendum on independence from Spain appeared before the state prosecutor on Tuesday amid cheers and chants from supporters.

The first three mayors to declare exercised their right to remain silent, the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) said.

Years of separatist feeling in the industrial northeastern region will come to a head in less than two weeks as the fiercely pro-independence regional government calls a referendum on splitting from Spain.

Madrid has declared the referendum illegal and the Constitutional Court has suspended the vote that was approved by the regional government earlier this month.

So far, 745 of 948 municipal leaders have said they will provide venues for the referendum.

“Voting is not a crime,” said Marc Solsona, mayor of the town of Mollerussa, one of nearly 750 mayors facing charges of civil disobedience, abuse of office and misuse of public funds, as he left the state prosecutor’s office in Barcelona.

“I’m just the mayor and I have to serve my people. I am committed to the people being able to vote on Oct. 1 in accordance with the law passed by the Catalan parliament and what happens to me is not important,” he said.

Solsona smiled, kissed and gripped hands with dozens of clapping supporters gathered outside the state prosecutor’s office as he entered to chants of ‘You are not alone’

“We consider ourselves privileged to have a mayor who represents the townspeople above any other interests – political or financial,” said 63-year-old pensioner Angel Tena, who had traveled to Barcelona to support the mayor.

Separately, police continued their search for ballot boxes, voting papers and campaign leaflets on Wednesday, raiding the offices of Spain’s biggest private delivery company Unipost in the Catalan city of Terrassa, Spanish media reported.

Neither the police nor the Interior Ministry could confirm the raid, but footage showed dozens of people gathered outside the company’s offices chanting ‘Out with the occupying forces,’ handing out voting papers and laying carnations on police cars.

Unipost confirmed the raid without giving further details.

Although polls show less than half of Catalonia’s 5.5 million voters want self-rule, most in the wealthy northeastern region want the chance to vote on the issue.

(Additional reporting by Sonya Dowsett and Inmaculada Sanz in Madrid; Writing by Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Angus Berwick and Janet Lawrence)

Spain police launch graft probe in Catalan president’s fiefdom

September 19, 2017

AFP

© AFP | Tuesday’s police raid comes amid mounting tensions as Catalan leaders press ahead with preparations for an independence referendum on October 1

GIRONA (SPAIN) (AFP) – Spanish police carried out searches on Tuesday across Girona, a fiefdom of Catalonia’s pro-separatist president Carles Puigdemont, as part of probe into suspected graft at a local water company, police said.The operation comes amid mounting tensions as Catalan leaders press ahead with preparations for an independence referendum on October 1 despite Madrid’s ban and a court ruling that deems it illegal.

Spain’s Guardia Civil police force said it was carrying out searches at 15 places in Girona, a city some 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Barcelona where Puigdemont served as mayor between 2011 and 2016.

The searches are part of a probe into “suspected illegal activities which could involve the crimes of fraud and breach of trust regarding the awarding of a water supply contract,” police said in a statement.

The operations centres on the activities of Girona water supply company Salt i Sarria, it added.

The probe concerns the activities of the water company when Puigdemont was mayor of Girona, according to conservative daily newspaper La Razon which splashed the investigation on its front page.

Meanwhile police were also searching for referendum material at private courier company in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat near Barcelona, a police spokesman said.

Prosecutors have demanded that police seize all materials which could be used to stage the referendum such as ballots, ballot boxes and posters and fliers promoting the vote.

They have also opened a criminal probe into the over 700 Catalan mayors who have offered to help stage the referendum.

About 40 mayors have been formally summoned to be questioned as part of this investigation, three of them on Tuesday.

Polls show Catalonia’s roughly 7.5 million residents are deeply divided on independence.

A survey commissioned by the regional government in July showed 49.4 percent of Catalans were against independence while 41.1 percent were in favour.

Spain to Push for Better Counter-Terrorism Coordination in Europe: PM

August 25, 2017

MADRID — Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Friday he would ask a summit attended by French, Spanish, Italian and German leaders next Monday to discuss how European cooperation on counter-terrorism efforts could be improved.

Fifteen people died last week in twin attacks by Islamist militants in the Spanish region of Catalonia.

Rajoy told a news conference he wanted European Union partners to “analyze the current cooperation mechanisms … and look at options to boost them and improve them.”

(Reporting by Angus Berwick; Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Jesus Aguado)

An armed police officer outside a stadium in Barcelona. Catalan law enforcement officials have long complained that they are not allowed to work on their own with foreign intelligence organizations.Credit Santi Palacios/Associated Press

Relatives of the men who carried out the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils last week gathered with other Muslims in the main square of Ripoll, Spain, on Saturday in support of the victims.Credit Samuel Aranda for The New York Times