Referendum in Catalonia cannot be held: Spain's PM

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-22 00:35:35|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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MADRID, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Thursday that the referendum over independence cannot be held in the country's northeastern region of Catalonia after 14 people were arrested in the morning due to the issue.

He asked the government of Catalonia, Generalitat, to stop their illegal activities because "this referendum cannot be held", as according to the Spanish government it breaches the Spanish constitution.

Rajoy made this statement on a press conference in the evening after 14 government officials were arrested, with the majority of them belonging to the team of Catalan deputy leader Oriol Junqueras and who were in charge of areas such as economy, information, communication or technology.

Since Thursday morning people have taken to the streets in Barcelona and other towns around Catalonia to protest against the searches and detentions carried out by the civil guard.

According to local police, around 40,000 people are gathering since the morning in front to the economy department of the Generalitat, where the civil guard searched the building.

Catalan regional president, Carles Puigdemont said the Spanish government had suspended "the self-government," of the Catalan region and stated that Madrid had "crossed the red line that separates them from repression."