Spain Threatens ‘Exceptional Measures’ to Stop Catalonia Independence Vote

National Govt Moves to Gain Direct Control Over Public Services

Spanish government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo says officials are not ruling anything out in reaction to the planned Catalonian referendum on independence, saying the government is prepared to take “exceptional measures” to stop the vote.

Catalonia’s wealth and the substantial support for secession has led the central government toward increasingly desperate measures to stop the vote, including imposing direct control over most public services in Catalonia to prevent local government officials cooperating with the vote using any official funds.

The officials vow that not one Euro will be spent on the “illegal” referendum, though with most mayors in the region backing the vote, Spain’s go-to move has been to threaten to arrest hundreds of mayors, hardly a realistic way to stop a vote.

Instead, armed police are raiding random newspapers across Catalonia looking for voting papers, and are out in numbers hoping to stumble across ballot boxes to undermine the vote. So far, they’ve come up empty, and police admit they have “no idea” where the election materials are.

All of this is just adding to the determination among Catalonians to see a referendum take place, and the central government’s hostility is likely pushing more people into the leave camp all the time.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of