Despite ever-growing national police operations in his region, Catalonia’s Foreign Minister Raul Romeva has echoed the sentiments of other top Catalan officials, vowing the October 1 referendum on secession will take place as planned.
Spanish officials continue to step up the crackdown, and now say it is there intention to have national police physically occupy every voting station in Catalonia to ensure that no votes are cast. How practical this is remains to be seen, as ballot papers have already been passed out en masse for days.
Catalonia remains confident. “I don’t have any doubt,” Romeva insisted, adding that Catalan officials have found ways around everything that the national government has done so far, and that they can print as many ballot papers as needed.
Spain has sent thousands of additional national police into Catalonia, and has tried to nationalize all local police therein. The effort with the local police has had mixed results, with the Catalonia Interior Ministry resisting such demands.
Spanish officials are also stepping up the rhetoric internationally. Spanish FM Alfonso Dastis claimed separatists were using “Nazi” tactics to intimidate opponents, adding: “Referendums are a weapon of choice of dictators”.