Spain sends in police reinforcements in Catalonia vote run-up

An armed Catalan Mossos d'Esquadra officer stands guard at Las Ramblas in Barcelona Spain

Maza said that the head of regional government could face legal consequences for disobedience, breaching public duties and misuse of public funds for proceeding with the plebiscite after Spain's Constitutional court suspended the legislation that is the basis of the vote.

Despite long-standing assurances from the State Department that the USA would take no stance on the upcoming Catalonia referendum, President Trump couldn't help himself while hosting Spain's Prime Minister, loudly endorsing Spanish unity. "All the referendum's logistics have been dismantled", the Spanish government's representative in Catalonia, Enric Millo, told reporters in Barcelona.

Spanish authorities say Sunday's ballot on whether the Catalan region should secede from Spain is illegal.

A "yes" vote is likely, given that most of the 40 percent of Catalans who polls show support independence are expected to cast ballots while most of those against it are not. "Vote for the future of Catalonia!".

They refused to move as the day wore on, further angered by an announcement by the interior ministry that police had seized "close to 10 million ballot papers" destined for the October 1 vote deemed illegal by the central government.

Eighteen MSPs expressed "grave concern" at the actions of the Spanish state in a letter to Spain's prime minister.

Trump attacked the referendum effort in Catalonia as "foolish," saying the people of Catalonia should accept a united Spain.

Kathleen Brooks, research director at City Index, said: "If the Catalonia referendum goes ahead we expect this to be a disruptive event for the euro, with the potential for a sharp decline of up to five per cent initially in the single currency if the separatists win".

The remarks of the two US spokeswomen come as Spanish courts have declared the referendum mandating secession illegal.

However, the Catalan government maintained on Tuesday that the vote would still take place.

He also said the risk of violence was of concern to many people. The separatists who now govern the wealthy region in northeastern Spain often make references to the short-lived 1931-1939 republic crushed by General Francisco Franco after a three-year civil war.

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