Spain to send extra police to Catalonia if independence referendum goes ahead

The control of the police in Catalonia has become a sensitive topic as the political confrontation with the central government has poured onto the streets.

The State prosecutor in Catalonia told all local and national police forces on Saturday that they had been temporarily placed under a single chain of command reporting directly to the interior ministry in Madrid.

The announcement by the Catalan interior chief Joaquim Forn followed a move by Spain's Interior Ministry to take over coordinating all policing efforts to stop the October 1 Catalan independence vote that the Spanish government considers illegal.

A man drives his taxi decorated with an estela flag and publicity supporting the October 1 vote in Barcelona, Spain Friday, Sept. 22, 2017.

Informed the civil guard of Spain were raided in Barcelona, in government agencies, seeking records related to the referendum on independence of Catalonia.

"The majority of the Catalans did not want independence until quite recently, but now 70 percent of the population in Catalonia want the referendum and many people that were in the middle now say "we want to vote".because this idea of trying to repress a movement is not going to support the unity of Spain", the analyst said on Friday night.

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An Interior Ministry statement said the extra police will provide backing for Catalan regional police who are also under orders to prevent the staging of the referendum.

Colonel Diego PĂ©rez de los Cobos has been put in charge of Catalan police forces in the autonomous region.

Spain says the referendum would be illegal. The Constitutional Court has ordered it suspended while it studies its legality.

State police entered offices of the Catalan region's economy, interior, foreign affairs, welfare, telecommunications and tax departments, the sources said. The ministry says the move is created to enhance coordination.

On the same day that the mass protest took place, the CNP raided several Catalan government offices using a court mandate, confiscating between nine and 10 million blank ballots to be used in the upcoming referendum.

The control of the Catalan police has become a sensitive topic as the political confrontation between the pro-independence regional government and central authorities has poured onto the streets of Barcelona and elsewhere in Catalonia. The remaining students were hold-outs from a group of about 2,000 that gathered in and around the university yesterday.

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