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Primavera Sound condemns arrests of Catalan leaders
22 September 2017, 12:22 | Louis Holland
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Catalonia, a wealthy region of 7.5 million people in north-eastern Spain which has Barcelona as its capital, has its own language and culture but is not recognised as a separate nation by the Spanish state.
Regional government officials, including Catalonia's president, so far have vowed to ignore a constitutional court order to suspend the October 1 referendum on Catalan independence from Spain.
Demonstrators waved hybrid flags amalgamating the yellow stripes of Catalonia with the blue saltire of Scotland, and a press pullout stating "Si" from pro-independence Scottish newspaper The National.
The operation comes one day after documents related to the independence referendum were seized from Unipost offices, a private delivery firm, in the Catalan city of Terrasa.
"Primavera Sound can not and does not want to keep quiet about the events that have taken place over the past few days in Catalonia and especially what has taken place today in Barcelona, the city which hosts the festival", reads a statement from Primavera Sound, issued this afternoon.
Over the past few days, police have ramped up their seizure of items that could be used in the referendum, including notifications waiting to be sent to Catalans selected to staff polling stations.
Catalonia's leader has accused Madrid of imposing a "de facto state of emergency" in the Spanish region and said the arrests were a "shameful attack" on its autonomy.
Spain's prime minister called Wednesday on Catalan separatist leaders to end their "escalation" as several thousand people took to the streets of Barcelona to protest at Madrid's attempts to stop a banned referendum on independence. Under Article 155 of the constitution, Madrid has the power to suspend a regional government's authority to rule.
So when, earlier this month, the Catalan government passed a law calling for a referendum on October 1, the Spanish government appealed to the country's constitutional court.
Catalonia's regional government has been "de facto" suspended by Spain's central government in Madrid, the president of the would-be breakaway region has said.
The reasons for Mr Jove's arrest were not immediately clear, but Spain's central government had warned that officials who help stage the referendum could face criminal charges.
The Catalan parliament, where Puigdemont's coalition has a majority, has been taking legislative steps towards independence for more than a year.
A crowd of protesters gathers outside the Catalan region's economy ministry after junior economy minister Josep Maria Jove was arrested in Barcelona, Spain, September 20, 2017.
"It is obvious that we won't be able to vote as we would have liked", Oriol Junqueras, deputy head and economy minister of the regional government, told local television TV3.
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