Neither side backing down ahead of Catalan referendum

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-30 04:56:09|Editor: yan
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MADRID, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- With less than 36 hours until polls are due to open in the Catalan independence referendum on Sunday, neither the Spanish government, nor the Catalan regional authority shows any signs of backing down from their postures.

The Spanish government continues to insist that the vote, which has been declared illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court, will not go ahead.

Government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo highlighted the decision of the Constitutional Court, saying "nobody is above the law." He also mentioned the problems the Catalan authorities are having in organizing the vote after the confiscation of ballot boxes, voting papers and the electoral census by Civil Guards.

Meanwhile, Catalan authorities responded in a press conference in which the Deputy leader of the region, Oriol Junqueras, Interior Minister, Jordi Turell and Foreign Affairs Councilor, Raul Romeva confirmed that voting would take place between 9 a.m. and 20:00 p.m. on Sunday morning at 2,315 electoral colleges, which would be "open in all areas of Catalonia."

They insisted that the 5,343,358 people with the right "will vote" and that the result will "have value and legitimacy."

The Catalan authorities hope that the presence of a group of international observes, led by Daan Everts, who was the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's former ambassador during the Kosovo independence process, will add legitimacy for the process.

Meanwhile the Spanish Agency for Data Protection advised that the 7,235 people who have been called to supervise the election face fines of between 40,000 euros (47,270 U.S. dollars) and 300,000 euros (354,500 dollars) because according to the agency, as the referendum is not official, they "cannot deal with details of the census as members of an electoral table."

Members of the Catalan regional police (Mossos d'Esquadra) have also received orders to close all schools and public buildings where voting is scheduled to take place before 6 a.m. on Sunday. In response to this many parents have decided to spend the weekend with their children inside the schools.