Catalan separatists call for ‘permanent’ protests as crisis deepens

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BARCELONA: Spain’s central government braced for a second day of protests in Barcelona on Thursday as separatists called for “permanent mobilization” after Madrid dealt yet another blow to preparations for an outlawed referendum on independence. Influential separatist citizens’ organizations urged those who want the vote to take place on October 1, despite Madrid’s ban, to return to the streets after day-long demonstrations that lasted well into the night. Anger over the detention of 14 regional government officials on Wednesday was further compounded by an announcement that police had seized “close to 10 million ballot papers” destined for a vote deemed illegal by Madrid and the courts. Thousands took to the streets of Barcelona, prompting Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to call on Catalonia’s separatist leaders to “stop this escalation of radicalism and disobedience once and for all.”

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AFP

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