The Catalan independence referendum has faced an unbelievably heavy handed response from the central government in Madrid, with the obvious result, supporters of secession have flocked to the polls, while opponents are unwilling to get a baton to the crotch, so early results show overwhelming support for Catalonia leaving Spain:
Catalan officials have claimed that preliminary results of its referendum have shown 90% in favour of independence in the vote vehemently opposed by Spain.
Jordi Turull, the Catalan regional government spokesman, told reporters early on Monday morning that 90% of the 2.26 million Catalans who voted Sunday chose yes. He said nearly 8% of voters rejected independence and the rest of the ballots were blank or void. He said 15,000 votes were still being counted.The region has 5.3 million registered voters.
Turull said the number of ballots did not include those confiscated by Spanish police during violent raids which resulted in hundreds of people being injured. At least 844 people and 33 police were reported to have been hurt, including at least two people who were thought to have been seriously injured.
Puigdemont had pressed ahead with the referendum despite opposition from the Spanish state, which declared the poll to be illegal, and the region’s own high court. He told crowds earlier in the day that the “police brutality will shame the Spanish state for ever”.
The Spanish government defended its response after hundreds of people were hurt when riot police stormed polling stations in a last-minute effort to stop the vote on Sunday.
Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy, and his People’s Party, has been running against Catalonia, and against Catalonian independence for years, and this has served to galvanize the secessionists movement.
First, they rushed to overturn existing agreements, and now they have sent national and other police forces into Catalonia as an occupying force with a license to abuse, and the results are ugly: senior citizens bloodied, voters dragged out of polling areas by their hair, and condemnations from Human Rights Watch.
I don’t think that we are headed for another Spanish Civil War, but if someone doesn’t put a leash on Rajoy, things are going to get a lot worse.