'Stop lying', Spanish minister tells Catalan separatists

'Stop lying', Spanish minister tells Catalan separatists

'Stop lying', Spanish minister tells Catalan separatists

President Trump said Tuesday that the United States opposes an independence drive in the Spanish region of Catalonia, telling reporters that such secession would be "foolish".

"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.

"I really think the people of Catalonia would stay with Spain", Trump said as he offered support to visiting Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the White House today.

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

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

"I think the people of Catalonia have been talking about this for a long time".

The move comes as part of ongoing campaign by Madrid to prevent the referendum taking place which has been ruled "illegal" by the country's Constitutional Court.

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The situation in Catalonia is not on the agenda, according to a Spanish official.

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. His comments came after the police arrested 14 senior Catalan officials, seized some 10 million ballot papers and launched thousands of reinforcements to the region.

Madrid has also threatened fines against bureaucrats working on the ballot, including the region's election commission, which was dissolved last week.

Madrid has responded with the heavy legal artillery at its disposal to block the vote, dealing a blow to plans to hold a vote with a semblance of legitimacy.

These actions have provoked mass demonstrations and drawn accusations from Catalan leaders that the Madrid government was resorting to the repression of the Franco dictatorship.

Polls show Catalans are split on the issue of independence, but a large majority want to vote in a legitimate referendum to settle the matter. "They are excluding half the population", Dastis said.

It has sent out notifications to people planning to man polling booths spread across the region, the parliamentary spokeswoman for the separatist Junts pel Si party said on Tuesday. But separatists have pressed ahead anyway, vowing to declare independence if the "Yes" wins.

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