Spain\u2019s deputy prime minister has praised the actions of the country\u2019s police officers to prevent an independence referendum from going ahead in Catalonia on Sunday. Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said:\n\n\u201cThere 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\u2019m asking the Catalan Government and the political parties that belong to it to stop this irresponsibility.\n\n\u201cThe 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.\n\n\u201cThey 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.\n\n\u201cI don\u2019t know how Puigdemont [president of the Catalan Government] has lived until now,\u201d De Santamaria continued. \u201cBut Spanish democracy doesn\u2019t work like this. It\u2019s 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.\u201d \n\nThe referendum has plunged Spain into its worst constitutional crisis in decades and deepened a centuries-old rife between Madrid and Barcelona.