Bank Of Spain Warns Catalonia Independence Referendum Could Hurt Economy

Members of Catalan National Assembly carry signs that read

Members of Catalan National Assembly carry signs that read"Yes, and an Estelada during a protest

The mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau called on the European Commission late Wednesday to mediate between Catalonia and the Spanish government as tensions over the regional government's plans to hold an independence referendum boil over.

Among those showing their support outside Fife House was Cupar councillor and depute SNP group leader in Fife Karen Marjoram, she said: "The decision over Catalonia's future direction is a matter for the people who live there, and the Catalan and Spanish Governments are perfectly entitled to take positions for and against independence".

Catalonia is scheduled to have a referendum on October 1 on whether to secede from Spain.

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Colau is against independence but lashed out at the behavior of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's "intransigent government" in Madrid and its threats. Calou said the Spanish state has been "witnessing a judicialization of politics ever since", which involved disqualifying Artur Mas, the former president of Catalonia, and two of his aides from politics for going ahead with the vote.

A powerful symbol of Catalonia, Barcelona have been cautious not to support either side of the independence debate, but have backed the wealthy north-eastern Spanish region's right to decide at the ballot box.

"The Spanish government has allowed the Catalan conflict to escalate from an internal dispute to a European conflict", she said, adding that Europe could not be "passive" over the Catalan issue.

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The students, many draped in red and yellow Catalan independence flags, gathered outside a building at the University of Barcelona in the centre of the Catalan capital.

Officials from the European Commission, the EU executive, have repeatedly fended off questions on the Catalan crisis with variations on the same response: "The commission respects Spain's constitutional order and legal framework".

"Whoever doesn't want to hear our voice needs to see a political otolaryngologist", Puigdemont said, using the formal term for an ear, nose and throat specialist.

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"Barcelona is a city of peace, a lover of dialogue and has a strong cosmopolitan and pro-European vocation - which is why the majority of its population wishes to vote", Colau said.

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