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Spanish Police Set To Arrest Catalan Leader “Immediately” If He Declares Independence

Spanish Police Set To Arrest Catalan Leader “Immediately” If He Declares Independence

Spain’s D-Day is here: the country’s biggest political crisis since an attempted military coup in 1981 is about to get a resolution – one way or another – and as Bloomberg reports, Spanish police are ready to arrest Catalan President Carles Puigdemont “immediately” if he declares independence in the regional parliament, according to two people familiar with the government’s plans.

In what may be a preview of a possible upcoming civil war should today’s event be handled incorrectly, Bloomberg writes that while a final decision on whether to act has not yet been taken, Spain’s National Police force has elite officers deployed in Catalonia who are prepared to join a raid if Catalan police try to shield Puigdemont. If Puigdemont makes a statement that falls short of immediate independence, the government in Madrid may stay its hand. Puigdemont has called a press conference for 1 p.m. in Barcelona.

The National Police and the Civil Guard “have sufficient officers in place to overcome any resistance they might meet” Bloomberg’s sources note. A government press officer declined to comment other than to say that any such decision would have to be ordered by a judge.

Also today, Puigdemont is due to address the regional legislature at 6 p.m on Tuesday with many of his supporters looking for him to announce a new republic to follow through on the makeshift referendum held on Oct. 1. With his core supporters demanding he make good on the illegal vote for independence and officials in Madrid urging Rajoy to finally crack down on the separatist campaign, Puigdemont’s rebellion may be running out of road.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has held a firm line, refusing to negotiate with the Catalan separatists and insisting all along that he’ll use only proportionate force in relation to the separatist government in Barcelona.

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