Spanish deputy PM praises police action in Catalan vote

Spain’s deputy prime minister has praised the actions of the country’s police officers to prevent an independence referendum from going ahead in Catalonia on Sunday. Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said:

“There has not been a referendum. What happened is far from being one. It was a nonsense to follow this path of irrationality (about the catalan government vote) and there is no sense in this continuing. I’m asking the Catalan Government and the political parties that belong to it to stop this irresponsibility.

“The democratic constitutional state works and has tools to make sure that the Justice decisions which protect the rights of all citizens are fulfilled. The absolute irrresponsability of the Catalan Government had to be compensated for by the professionalism of the Spanish security forces.

“They have complied with the orders of justice. They have acted with professionalism and in a proportionate way. They have always sought to protect rights and liberties.

“I don’t know how Puigdemont [president of the Catalan Government] has lived until now,” De Santamaria continued. “But Spanish democracy doesn’t work like this. It’s been long time since the Spanish people got rid of a dictatorship where a single person used to say that he was the law. The law today comes from the Parliaments in respect of the democratic rules, and the law is what the Courts apply, and what the security forces carry out.”

The referendum has plunged Spain into its worst constitutional crisis in decades and deepened a centuries-old rife between Madrid and Barcelona.
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