Catalan separatists rally around mayors

Spain warns Catalonia faces 'brutal' impoverishment if it leaves

Spain warns Catalonia faces 'brutal' impoverishment if it leaves

Catalonia is expected to hold an independence referendum on October 1, despite the plebiscite being declared illegal by the Spanish federal government.

SNP ministers have given their support to Catalonian separatists who are banned from holding an independence referendum.

Madrid has pulled out all stops to prevent the Catalan referendum from going forward, including threatening to arrest mayors who facilitate the vote, ordering police to seize any item that could be used for the plebiscite and tightening control over the region's finances. The central government wants to know if they will help the regional government by allocating municipal spaces to the voting process. Organizing the referendum will be almost impossible without the cooperation of local municipalities. So far, they've come up empty, and police admit they have "no idea" where the election materials are.

Hundreds of mayors stood Saturday next to regional President Carles Puigdemont and Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau in Barcelona, the capital and main city in the region.

"It's a disgrace that we have a government that is incapable of dialogue and instead dedicates itself to pursuing and intimidating mayors and the media", Colau said.

Spanish police on Saturday seized printing materials meant to support and promote the referendum near Barcelona.

Catalonia's top court on Friday issued a warning to seven newspapers not to publish campaign notices for the referendum, a court spokesperson said. "Madrid has promised to block the vote, saying it is unconstitutional", the report said. "Eighty percent of the Catalan citizenship is in favor of the referendum of self-determination to ask Catalans whether or not they want independence", Anna Arque from the EU Partnership for Independence told RT. Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said Scotland's 2014 referendum on self rule, which was agreed to by both Westminster and Edinburgh, was a positive example of how to resolve such disputes.

The "No" side won in the Scottish independence referendum.

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