Catalonia’s authorities spokesman says 337 folks have been injured, some severely, during the police crackdown Sunday on a banned referendum on breaking away from Spain.
Jordi Turull stated he couldn’t disclose extra particulars concerning the wounded out of respect to their kinfolk. Police fired rubber bullets close to not less than one Barcelona polling station, and have clashed with protesters all through Catalonia.
The regional authorities’s spokesman, Jordi Turull, blamed the violence immediately on Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido.
Turull stated that actions by Spanish National Police and Civil Guard forces on Sunday have been politically motivated and confirmed “a clear motivation to harm citizens.”
Catalan worldwide affairs director, Raul Romeva, stated that regional authorities would attraction to European authorities for Rajoy’s governments’ violations of human rights.
WATCH: Spanish demonstrators rally in Madrid towards deliberate Catalonia independence referendum
Spanish riot police burst into polling stations throughout Catalonia on Sunday, confiscating poll containers and voting papers to attempt to halt a banned referendum on a split from Spain as Madrid asserted its authority over the insurgent area.
Police broke down doorways to drive entry into voting stations as defiant Catalans shouted ‘Out with the occupying forces!” and sang the anthem of the rich northeastern area. In one incident in Barcelona, police fired rubber bullets.
WATCH: Catalonia president requires referendum in Spain regardless of Scottish NO vote
Officers in riot gear forcibly eliminated folks from a polling station in Girona and Catalan firefighters protected voters by standing between them and nationwide police.
The referendum, declared unlawful by Spain’s central authorities, has thrown the nation into its worst constitutional disaster in a long time and deepened a centuries-previous rift between Madrid and Barcelona.
Despite the police motion, lots of-robust queues of individuals shaped in cities and villages all through the area to solid their votes. At one Barcelona polling station, aged folks and people with kids entered first.
“I’m so pleased because despite all the hurdles they’ve put up, I’ve managed to vote,” stated Teresa, a 72-year-previous pensioner in Barcelona who had stood in line for six hours.
The poll may have no authorized standing because it has been blocked by Spain’s Constitutional Court and Madrid for being at odds with the 1978 structure.
A minority of round 40 p.c of Catalans assist independence, polls present, though a majority wish to maintain a referendum on the difficulty. The area of seven.5 million folks has an financial system bigger than that of Portugal.
However a lot voting takes place, a “yes” result’s seemingly, given that the majority of those that assist independence are anticipated to solid ballots whereas most of these towards it are usually not.
Organizers had requested voters to prove earlier than daybreak, hoping for big crowds to be the world’s first picture of voting day.
“This is a great opportunity. I’ve waited 80 years for this,” stated 92-year-previous Ramon Jordana, a former taxi driver ready to vote in Sant Pere de Torello, a city in the foothills of the Pyrenees and a professional-independence bastion.
The Catalan authorities stated voters may print out poll papers at house and lodge them at any polling station not closed down by police.
Elsewhere, folks weren’t capable of entry the poll containers. In a city in Girona province the place Catalan chief Carles Puigdemont was as a result of vote, Civil Guard police smashed glass panels to open the door and seek for poll containers.
WATCH: Spain’s Catalonia area gears up for independence referendum
Puigdemont voted in a unique city in the province. He accused Spain of unjustified violence in stopping the vote and stated it created a dreadful picture of Spain.
“The unjustified, disproportionate and irresponsible violence of the Spanish state today has not only failed to stop Catalans’ desire to vote … but has helped to clarify all the doubts we had to resolve today,” he stated.
Nicola Sturgeon, the chief of Scotland, which voted to stay a part of the United Kingdom in a 2014 referendum, stated she was involved by the pictures she was seeing from Catalonia.
“Regardless of views on independence, we should all condemn the scenes being witnessed and call on Spain to change course before someone is seriously hurt,” she stated on Twitter.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel tweeted: “Violence can never be the answer! We condemn all forms of violence and reaffirm our call for political dialog.”
Around 70 polling stations had been raided by police, Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido stated.
The intention of the raids was to grab referendum materials and to not goal folks desirous to vote, one other senior authorities official stated.
Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaría stated police had acted in a proportionate method.
“We have been made to do something we didn’t want to do,” stated Enric Millo, the central authorities’s consultant in Catalonia, at a information convention.
One analyst stated the scenes being performed out throughout Catalonia on Sunday would make it more durable for Madrid and Barcelona to discover a approach ahead.
“I think it is going to make the clash more intense and make it more difficult to find a solution,” stated Antonio Barroso of Teneo Intelligence.
Puigdemont initially stated that if the “yes” vote received, the Catalan authorities would declare independence inside 48 hours, however regional leaders have since acknowledged Madrid’s crackdown has undermined the vote.
Markets have reacted cautiously however calmly to the scenario up to now, although credit standing company S&P stated on Friday that protracted tensions in Catalonia may damage Spain’s financial outlook. The area accounts for a few fifth of the financial system.
–With information from the Associated Press.