Catalan referendum: Regional strike threatened after vote

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Media captionMany Catalans have expressed shock at the use of violent tactics by Spanish police

A general strike threatens to bring large areas of Catalonia to a standstill, following the Spanish region’s disputed referendum.

The strike was called by Catalan trade unions and associations due to “the grave violation of rights and freedoms” seen during Sunday’s ballot.

Madrid had deemed the referendum illegal. However, more than 2.2m people reportedly voted in spite of this.

But hundreds were hurt as Spanish police tried to stop it going ahead.

Some of the officers ordered to prevent people casting their vote were seen firing rubber bullets, storming into polling stations and pulling women by their hair.

Thirty-three police officers were injured on Sunday, Catalan medical officials said.

Tuesday’s strike, a reaction to the violence, will see public transport, schools and clinics in Catalonia closed for the day.

Barcelona’s famous football team is also expected to go on strike, although it is not due to play a match, as are the city’s public universities and contemporary art museum.


Catalan rage: Separatism or populism?

By Europe Editor Katya Adler

It would be wrong to interpret the anger and anguish so palpable in Catalonia right now as an expression of political unity. Catalans are as divided as ever on the question of independence.

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Media captionCatalans sing their anthem ‘Els Segadors’, or ‘The Reapers’

What unites them today is a seething fury and resentment at the heavy-handedness of the Spanish government, represented by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, with what Catalans perceive as his Madrid-centric arrogance, brutishness and disregard for the rights of individuals.

This is far less about separatism than populism. Anti-establishment, nationalist…

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