The Spanish Civil Guard have arrested 12 high-ranking Catalan officials in a large scale anti-referendum operation.
Spain has shifted up a gear this Wednesday morning. Military police Guardia Civil officers entered offices of three Catalan government ministries: Economy, Governance and Social Affairs. The raids started around 8am local time and they are part of a big operation against the October 1 referendum planned by the Catalan executive. The Catalan Vice Presidency and Economy secretary general, Josep Maria Jové, was arrested, along with 11 more high-ranking officials.
Guardia Civil raids nine Catalan government buildings
Officers entered nine government buildings, including the Catalan Institute of Finances and the headquarters of the Telecommunications and IT Center. Some citizens gathered in front of the Economy department seat some minutes after the raid started in order to protest against the operation. Spain’s Guardia Civil has been raiding printing firms, newsrooms and delivery companies in the past few days in search of referendum material. Officers have confiscated 1.5 million posters and leaflets related to the vote and around 45,000 polling supervisor notices.
In elections in Catalonia, polling supervisors are randomly appointed among citizens after a draw. They receive a notice in the mail informing them that they are obliged to serve at a polling station. However, this time the Catalan government efforts to call polling supervisors as usual might be thwarted by the Guardia Civil.