Catalonia Claims Crushing Majority Backed Independence From Spain

Pep Guardiola backed Gerard Pique after the defender criticised the Spanish government over its treatment of people trying to vote in the referendum on independence on Sunday.

Ahead of the vote, United Nations human rights experts had cautioned Spain not to "violate fundamental individual rights" by blocking the Catalan government's referendum.

He called on the European Union to stop looking "the other way" following a police crackdown on the referendum banned by Madrid, calling it "unjustified, abusive and serious police violence dictated by the Spanish government".

At least 800 people were injured in the violent clashes over the weekend, with Spanish police attempting to prevent people from casting their votes with the use of force or by seizing their ballot papers, the BBC reported.

The country's constitutional court has ruled the vote illegal, and police have blocked entry at thousands of polling stations across the region. However, 80% of citizens are proclaimed to took part in the referendum, although some believe that it should be coordinated with the central government in Madrid. Videos have showed them beating people repeatedly as they try to confiscate ballots and ballot boxes.

Voting stations are closing in Catalonia after a tumultuous referendum on independence from Spain.

"I want to make it clear that the only people who are responsible are those who have venerated the law", said Rajoy, who insisted his government had "done what we had to do". According to The Guardian, authorities closed 336 of 2,000 voting stations across the region.

Details of the incident, as well as whether it's associated with holding a referendum on independence in the Catalonia police said.

Pressure for the vote among Catalonians has grown over the past few years.

In Girona, riot police smashed there way into a polling station where Catalans leader was due to vote.

Catalonia is one of the country's most affluent regions, contributing a fifth of Spain's economy and separatist Catalans complain of contributing too much to the state while not getting enough in return.

  • Leroy Wright