The last developments in Spain show a phase of impasse between the central government and the administration of Catalunya.
The debate is not limited anymore to the academic sphere – autonomy or independence – or to the political domain – referendum, yes or not or when- but it is also assuming more sinister shadows.
The recent arrests of 14 Catalan officials and the raids of Guardia Civil (the military police) in some buildings of the regional government has ignited a mass street protest in Barcelona.
From the side of the Government of Catalunya, the president Carles Puigdemont, according to El Pais, has declared that “the [Spanish] State has de facto suspended the self-government of the Region and imposed a state of emergency”, and that “[Madrid] has crossed the red line like a repressive government”; from the Government side, Rajoy, the prime minister of Spain, seems to stand firm in his idea to totally reject the execution of the referendum, scheduled for the 1st October. The Spanish Government is also backed by a decision of the Constitutional Court.
What seems to be more dangerous now, is that the situation is slightly moving from the political arena to a tougher confrontation between powers of the Spanish state: the first arrests made by the Guardia Civil and the seizure of pro-referendum materials show that Madrid is resolute in avoiding the whole referendum process in Catalunya, while the regional government does not want to step back in his independent intentions.
According to El Mundo, National Police and Guardia Civil have suspended all leaves and holidays for all agents sent to Catalunya between the 20th September and the 5th October. This communication is available on the official website of the Ministerio del Interior. In any case this suspension could be prolonged “according to the circumstances”.