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Spain urges Catalonia to end referendum ‘farce’

BARCELONA, OCT 01 (DNA) – Spain’s central government demanded Sunday that Catalonia’s president Carles Puigdemont call off an independence referendum, dismissing the vote as a “farce”, as national police moved in to stop it.

“Puigdemont and his team are solely responsible for all that has happened today and for all that can happen if they do not put an end to this farce,” Madrid’s representative in Catalonia Enric Millo said at a news conference.

Catalonia’s emergency services said they had treated 38 people hurt during a police crackdown at polling stations. Most had suffered bruises, dizziness and anxiety attacks.

Spain’s interior ministry said 11 police officers were injured in clashes with protesters. Demonstrators had thrown rocks at police, it added in a Twitter message.

Catalonian independence vote would not hurt Spain’s rating

Police fired rubber bullets in Barcelona as they charged protesters who wanted to vote in the independence vote which was banned by Spain’s central government and the courts.

Millo, however, said police officers were acting with “proportionality”.

He also said Catalonia’s regional police force had sought help from national police to block voting from happening at 233 polling stations.

“This is a gesture that honours them,” Millo said, just hours after he complained that Catalan regional police were not doing anything to prevent polling stations from opening.

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