On October 1st, Catalans were called to the polling stations by their autonomic government on a independence referendum(1-O, October 1st) condemned as unconstitutional by the central government and judiciary. Prior days saw the confiscation of ballots and ballot boxes together with some Catalan officials being put on custody. On referendum day there were clashes between voters and the police trying to stop the vote, Catalan authorities say the number of injured is higher than 800 and denounce police brutality, the central government argues that the use of force was proportional. The international press has widely denounced the episode has something that can't be seen in modern western Europe. In spite of the inconveniences Catalonia's government continued with the referendum, according to them, the results are:
With a turnout of 42.34%, supporters of staying in Spain didn't vote as they mostly didn't recognize the legitimacy of this election, some pro referendum catalans probably weren't able to vote due to police closing some polling stations and the fear of violent episodes happening.
Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?
Yes 2,020,144 91.96%
No 176,565 8.04%
The independence movement has increased in Catalonia in the last years, it is believed that currently Catalan society is divided 50/50 on this matter, with 70% of catalonians supporting an agreed referendum.
After the referendum, there were massive protests in Barcelona and other Catalan cities against what they consider the violent manners of the police handling the situation. Central government considers that the referendum was sucesfully stopped and called the Catalan to abide by the rule of law. The Catalan president has said that they will be declaring independence in a matter of days.
King Felipe VI gave an speech positioning himself with the government, without mentioning the injured, something that exacerbated the Catalan nationalists.
Looks like next Monday the Catalan Parliament will session on a probable unilateral declaration of independence, if that happens it is expected that the central government will suspend Catalonia's autonomy, likely inciting violence on the streets.
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