Catalan Independence Referendum

The Catalonia Government attempted a national vote on Independence from Spain. The referendum was declared illegal by the Spanish authorities. The Spanish police force was used by the Spanish government to prevent the referendum taking place. Rather than using the military the Spanish government sent in their police force to prevent a democratic vote in military protective armour. Scene unfolded between the Spanish police and the Citizen of the region who tried to defy Spanish law attempting to take their democratic vote.

The Catalonia President, Puigdemont, said today "A message to all democrats from all over the State, Europe and the world who are also shocked by the unjustified, abusive and severe police violence committed by the Spanish government. To you and to all who today made this democratic victory possible, to all who have expressed their support, to the prime ministers and presidents of Europe’s democratic governments who have conveyed messages of concern, to the dozens of parliamentarians from all countries who have expressed their indignation regarding the brutal repression unleashed by the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, we are deeply and sincerely grateful."

A reported 800 people are being seen to in hospitals across the region following the violence from the Police.

The Vice-President of the Spanish Government, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, said today "The rule of law, applied firmly and proportionally, has thwarted all the plans and intentions of the Regional Government of Catalonia. Prior to today, this attempt did not meet the most basic and elementary democratic requirements. Its backers ignored all the parliamentary rules to try and give an appearance of legality which was immediately suspended by the courts. This attempt is a democratic disgrace to the people of Catalonia and to the people of Spain as a whole, who have seen their rights infringed for not agreeing with the aims of the pro-independence forces."

In Ireland Sinn Fein denounced the EU commission stance on the referendum. Sean Crowe stated today “Today, the European Commission belatedly released an appalling and out of touch statement on yesterday’s events in Catalonia. Instead of standing up for democracy and criticizing the obvious heavy handed police response, it went off in a different direction and condemned divisiveness and fragmentation. It also backed the repressive Spanish Government response to this democratic referendum."

The Irish governments response has been to back the Spanish government. Taoiseach Leo Varadrak said today that Ireland respects the territorial unity of Spain and does not recognize the result from the referendum held in Catalonia at the weekend, but said violence is never justified.

Irish Labour Leader, Brendan Howlin, condemned the use of plastic bullets to "thwart" voters "Any violence against voters and officials is unacceptable and unjustifiable. The use of plastic bullets and physical intimidation by the Spanish police has to be condemned."

Other EU leaders condemn the use of violence against voters and officials.