Spain heads for showdown over Catalan independence referendum

AFP, via TheLocalSpain/Michaela Cancela-Kieffer/09-29-17

Spain is on tenterhooks as the crisis between Catalan separatist leaders and the central government reaches fever-pitch ahead of an independence referendum banned by Madrid on Sunday.

The showdown is one of Spain’s biggest political crises since the end of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco four decades ago and it has Catalonia deeply divided.

…Determined to block the illegal vote, the state has deployed thousands of police to Catalonia, some of them housed in ferries in the ports of Barcelona and Tarragona.

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