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Spain arrests Catalan government officials ahead of independence referendum

Spain’s police raided Catalan government offices and arrested 12 senior Catalan officials in attempts to stop an independence referendum that is due to take place on October 1, reports the Guardian. 

Speaking after an emergency ministerial meeting in response to the arrests, Catalan’s president said,

“We reaffirm our peaceful response. The Spanish government has crossed a red line and become a democratic disgrace. Searching public bodies and arresting officials for political reasons is a democratic scandal. We defend Catalan institutions.”

A spokesperson for Catalan’s regional government confirmed that the secretary general of economic affairs was among those detained.

Defending the arrests on Wednesday Morning , Spain’s Prime Minister Marcos Rajoy, said,

“What we’re seeing in Catalonia is an attempt to eliminate the constitution and the autonomous statute of Catalonia … Logically, the state has to react. There is no democratic state in the world that would accept what these people are trying to do. They’ve been warned and they know the referendum can’t take place.