Catalonia Urges EU to Protect Fundamental Rights Under Siege by Spain

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On Tuesday, he ordered the Catalan regional police force to do the same, and confiscate any materials related to the vote. All the referendum's logistics have been dismantled, ' the Spanish government's representative in Catalonia, Enric Millo, told reporters in Barcelona.

Protesters in Barcelona have taken to the streets to protect Catalonia's right to vote in an independence referendum scheduled for Sunday. The European Commission should become a mediator in the resolution of the conflict between Spanish and Catalan authorities over the latter's plans to hold an independence referendum, he stated in the document.

Anyone in possession of the keys or entrance codes to a polling booth could be considered a collaborator to crimes of disobedience, malfeasance and misappropriation of funds, the order said.

"This is perceived by the Spanish state as an endorsement of the repressive actions" it is carrying out, said Romeva, who handles foreign affairs for the regional government.

According to a July poll, a minority of Catalans want independence, but a majority support an independence vote to settle the issue.

But the unrelenting opposition from Madrid means such a result would go all but unrecognised, potentially setting up a new phase of the dispute.

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She added: "Madrid has launched an unprecedented crackdown to stop the referendum, including seizing paper ballots, arresting officials, removing referendum information and ordering schools to be sealed off so they can't be used as voting stations".

Barcelona's mayor Ada Colau on September 28 called for European Union mediation in the standoff over Catalonia's planned independence referendum in an opinion piece in Britain's Guardian daily.

Ahead of the planned 1 October referendum, Catalan regional premier Carles Puigdemont has called a meeting of the Generalitat's security board at 12:00 CEST today, where the possible police deployment for Barça-Eibar, and whether the game can be played, will be discussed.

The Catalan politician has also stressed that the quality of democracy in Spain "is eroding day after day".

Analysts have said that an independent Catalonia would trigger a crisis the EU would find hard to manage as it would energise separatist movements in other European countries.

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