It is 21 September 2017 and democratically elected politicians have been arrested in Barcelona, their offices as well as other regional ministerial buildings raided and property seized on the orders of the Spanish central government.
Amongst items confiscated were,apparently 9.6 million official ballot forms prepared for the planned Catalan Referendum on Independence scheduled for 1 October.
The leading Spanish mass circulation El Pais reported on-line :-
” Spain’s Constitutional Court will study an appeal by the central government against the Catalan parliament’s recently passed law preparing the region’s transition into an independent republic.
The court’s decision to accept the case on Tuesday automatically puts the law on hold, although it is unclear whether Catalan authorities will heed the suspension.
Before this, the Constitutional Court had already put a freeze on another law passed by the Catalan parliament last week paving the way for an independence referendum on October 1.
In the meantime, state prosecutors in Catalonia have ordered top officials within the National Police, the Civil Guard and the regional Mossos d’Esquadra police force to seize any and all items meant to help prepare or hold the “illegal self-determination” referendum, including ballot boxes, printed material and computer equipment.
The judiciary police have been instructed to stop any acts by authorities, public employees or “individuals working in connivance with the former” to organise the referendum. ”
Whether any of this can be construed, let alone accepted, by wider world public opinion as legitimate in any sense is yet to be established.
What is immediately disturbing and ought to be of pressing concern to neighbouring and allied states of Spain, is the authoritarian manner, more akin to Erdogan’s Turkey, with which forces of the Spanish state have ridden roughshod ,without the slightest compunction, over the legitimacy and dignity of Catalonia.
Where are the messages of support for the People of Catalonia and their elected government ?
Where is the outrage against the actions of the Popular Party regime in Madrid ?
What have the European Union , the national parliaments across the continent ,the Trades Unions and social democratic and liberal parties far and wide to say on this hideous outrage?
Or are the metropolitan ruling elites and most of their political class more than a little afraid now of what an existential threat referendums pose to their ramshackle EU neoliberal order in the wake of the UK’s 23 June 2016 magnificent decision to #brexit.