Centuries of friction between Catalonia and Spain

Protesters pack the University square in Barcelona Spain Sunday Sept. 24. Thousands of Catalan separatists are rallying in public squares in Barcelona and other towns in support of a disputed referendum on independence of the northeastern region from S

"Today we can affirm that there will be no effective referendum in Catalonia".

The situation in Catalonia deteriorated last week, when Spain's Civil Guard detained over a dozen of people in a raid related to the preparations for the independence vote.

With five days to go until the October 1 vote, the clash between Catalonia's pro-separatist government and Madrid is increasingly being played out in the arena of logistics and global opinion.

Pro-independence campaigners have defied Spanish authorities by handing out millions of ballots ahead of Sunday's vote. "All the referendum's logistics have been dismantled", the Spanish government's representative in Catalonia, Enric Millo, told reporters on Tuesday.

As reported by Bloomberg, Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed to use all the legal means necessary to ensure the Catalans don't go to the polls on October 1 after Spain's top court ruled that their plans are unconstitutional.

The shutting down of online information about the referendum is just one part of a concerted effort by the Spanish government to stop the vote from taking place. "You are talking about staying with a truly great, attractive and very historic country", Trump had said. He also dismissed a suggestion that he would call early elections as a result of the furore. The court suspended a referendum law that the Catalan parliament passed on September 6 to map out a potential transition to independence.

Over in Madrid, hundreds of supporters of the referendum gathered in solidarity in Puerta del Sol square, which hosted scores of anti-austerity protests during the Spanish economic crisis.

"We will let the government and the people there work it out, and we will work with whatever government or entity that comes out of it", Nauert said.

The euro could face hefty sell-offs in the coming weeks, as long as the possibility of Catalan independence looms.

What is unclear at this stage is whether the referendum will go ahead in any realistic fashion. Catalonia's leaders retort they have a right to decide their future even if it not allowed by the Constitution. In that sense, the vote is more of a pressure tactic on Madrid than an outright bid for independence.

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