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Trump says USA opposes independence bid in Spain's Catalonia region

Trump says USA opposes independence bid in Spain's Catalonia region”

They are cracking down on organisers by threatening them with prosecution.

Rajoy, speaking on Tuesday alongside U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington, said it would be "ridiculous" if the affluent northeastern region declared independence from Spain.

Spanish authorities say the October 1 ballot on whether the Catalan region should secede from Spain is illegal.

Thus far, the risks associated with the Catalonia referendum have been low-key with little angst being seen on currency markets.

On Sept. 23, the Catalan High Court ordered any website supporting the referendum to be blocked.

"We denounce the attempt by the state to intervene in the police forces of Catalonia", Joaquim Forn, the head of Catalonia's interior department and the civilian head of the Catalan police, said Saturday, reading a statement on regional television.

Sala is one of more than 700 mayors who have pledged to cooperate with the referendum.

Spanish Attorney General Jose Manual Maza warned today that the government retains the option of arresting Catalonia's President Carles Puigdemont for "disobedience" and misuse of public funds if the Catalan referendum takes place.

"Vote for the future of Catalonia".

Organisers of protests last week have been threatened with charges of sedition.

Senior Madrid government officials said on Monday that authorities had done enough to prevent a meaningful referendum in the region as Catalonia lacked an election commission, ballots boxes, ballot papers, a transparent census and election material.

The Catalan government has already vowed to push ahead with the referendum on October 1, which the Spanish government considers illegal.

Polls show that Catalans are sharply divided over whether they want independence, but a large majority would like a legal referendum to settle the matter.

Many had not yet received information about where or when they would be working after the state-run postal service was ordered to stop all mail related to the vote, a parliamentary spokeswoman for one separatist party said.

A Spanish diplomatic source said the government was "aware of this claim that we are losing the battle of communication, but it is more hard to tell the truth than to tell lies".

"If Catalonia votes for independence, even if the vote is deemed illegal, then it could put pressure on Madrid to allow the people of the region to have a legal vote, which could increase the chance of a break up of Spain", says Brooks.



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