Cat­alo­nia calls on EU for ref­er­en­dum help

Otago Daily Times - - The World -

BRUS­SELS: The EU should do its duty as a repos­i­tory of demo­cratic val­ues by telling Spain to al­low a ref­er­en­dum on Cata­lan in­de­pen­dence to take place, the re­gion’s for­eign af­fairs chief said.

Au­thor­i­ties in Barcelona are de­ter­mined to hold the vote as planned to­mor­row de­spite con­certed op­po­si­tion from the Span­ish Gov­ern­ment, which has de­clared it un­con­sti­tu­tional and or­dered re­gional po­lice to take con­trol of vot­ing booths.

‘‘We call on the EU in­sti­tu­tions . . . to stand for the val­ues and prin­ci­ples [of the EU treaty],’’ Raul Romeva told a news con­fer­ence in Brus­sels.

‘‘Civil rights are be­ing vi­o­lated . . . and the qual­ity of democ­racy in Spain is be­ing eroded.’’

By fail­ing to call for dia­logue, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion was be­ing per­ceived as en­dors­ing Madrid’s ‘‘re­pres­sive ac­tion’’, and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, may­ors and jour­nal­ists were be­ing sub­jected to ha­rass­ment, Romeva said.

The com­mis­sion said it re­spected Spain’s con­sti­tu­tional or­der. — Reuters

PHOTO: REUTERS

Want­ing to vote . . . Stu­dents at­tend a demon­stra­tion yes­ter­day in favour of the banned Cala­tan in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum, due to be held to­mor­row, in Barcelona, Spain.

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