To Prevent Rebellion, Spain Docks Cruise Ship Housing 16,000 Riot Police In Barcelona Port

Efforts by Madrid to stop a Catalonia independence vote, currently slated for October 1st, seem to be growing more hostile by the day.  Earlier this week Spanish police seized control of Catalonia’s finances, seeking to ensure that separatist politicians could not spend further public funds on the referendum, and conducted raids across Catalonia to confiscate ballots and campaign materials from printing shops and delivery companies.

Now, as the New York Times notes this morning, Spanish police have detained 14 people during operations conducted yesterday which included the secretary general of economic affairs, Josep Maria Jové.

The Spanish police detained more than a dozen people in the region of Catalonia on Wednesday, drastically escalating tensions between the national government and Catalan separatists. The episode occurred less than two weeks before a highly contentious referendum on independence that the government in Madrid has vowed to block.


The police raided the offices of the Catalan regional government early Wednesday and arrested at least 14 people, including Josep Maria Jové, secretary general of economic affairs. The arrests were not expected, but hundreds of mayors and other officials in Catalonia had been warned that they would be indicted if they helped organize a referendum in violation of Spanish law.


Hundreds of supporters of Catalan independence immediately took to the streets of Barcelona to protest the arrests. Jordi Sanchez, the leader of one of the region’s biggest separatist associations, used Twitter to urge Catalans to “resist peacefully,” but also to “come out and defend our institutions.”

According to Reuters, the increasingly hostile crackdown by the Spanish police has led Catalan leaders to acknowledge for the first time today that plans to hold a referendum on independence are now in doubt following the arrest of senior regional officials and the seizure of campaign material by national police.

“It is obvious that we won’t be able to vote as we would have liked,” Oriol Junqueras, deputy head and economy minister of the regional government, told local television TV3. “They have altered the rules.”


It was the first time the promoters of the referendum had acknowledged their plans were in doubt, although Junqueras said he said he was convinced voters would still turn out in numbers.


It is not yet clear whether the police operation would be enough to prevent the vote overall or if it could instead bring fresh momentum to the secession campaign.


Polls show about 40 percent of Catalans support independence although a majority want a referendum on the issue.


Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain

Meanwhile, as a sign of the growing hostility and Madrid's intentions to do all that is necessary to block a vote, Bloomberg notes that Spain has hired cruise liners specifically to mount a massive force of 16,000 police in a Catalan port.

Spain has discreetly hired ferries to be moored in the Port of Barcelona as temporary housing for possibly thousands of police specially deployed to keep order in rebel Catalonia and help suppress an illegal independence referendum.


The country’s interior ministry asked Catalan port authorities to provide a berth for one ship until Oct. 3 -- two days after the planned vote -- saying it was a matter of state, a spokeswoman for the port said by phone Wednesday. The vessel, known as “Rhapsody,” docked in the city about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, she said.


The aim is to amass more than 16,000 riot police and other security officers by the Oct. 1 referendum, El Correo newspaper reported on its website. That would exceed the number of Catalan police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, who serve both the Catalan and central governments.

the Rhapsody of the Sea cruise ship.

Still, the Catalan government says it can hold the vote, and recently announced that it had stored about 6,000 ballot boxes in a secret location. “The referendum will be held and is already organized,” Mr. Romeva said. “Clearly the conditions in which it will be celebrated are not those that we wished for.”

Separatist leaders, however, have accused Mr. Rajoy of plunging Catalonia into a state of emergency rather than negotiating the terms of a referendum.


“The issue that is at stake today isn’t the independence — or not — of Catalonia,” Raül Romeva, Catalonia’s foreign affairs chief, told a group of foreign correspondents in Madrid on Wednesday, “but democracy in Spain and the European Union.”


Mr. Romeva said that Catalonia would hold the referendum as planned, and that Catalan lawmakers would act to honor the result within 48 hours — meaning they would declare independence unilaterally if people voted for it.


“There is no alternative, absolutely no alternative,” he said. “There are only two projects now on the table: a democratic project or repression.”

Now,why do we have a feeling that placing a riot police force of 16,000 in a Catalan port, ready to pounce at a moment's notice, will not help reduce the local push for independence... 


knukles Manthong Thu, 09/21/2017 - 11:42 Permalink

More Fascist NWO Don't worry kiddies, it'll be a greaaaat place to live.  Now for our morning 3 minutes of hate followed by 10 minutes of Big Brother Adulation.When are people going to wake up to the seemingly apparent fact that most folks no longer fear FuckiEMyAss camps with the current administration compared to the last?Just sayin'  The Catalonians now get to worry about camps when all they want to do is .... Vote!                                      I love Big Brother 

In reply to by Manthong

sickavme knukles Thu, 09/21/2017 - 11:54 Permalink

Ummm. The more they crack down, the worse/faster they make it... You can't fight the population... If they want to go, then let them... Otherwise ur gonna end up killing alot of people... How best to hedge ur bets for a civil war in spain, anyone??? Also, watch, somehow it will be the US's fault.... >_>

In reply to by knukles

God Emperor sickavme Thu, 09/21/2017 - 12:20 Permalink

You all talk from your asses.The catalans are gay loving, diversity loving , lefturds governed by Republican Left + CUP (basically Antifa's party).Just in February 160K cataturds took to the streets of Barcelona asking for more rapefugees.…Organizer: Ruben Wagensberg (((100% catalan)))***2015 Catalan of the year Award receiver: Oscar Camps (founder of Proactiva Open Arms= NGO payed by Soros tu bus migrants over the Mediterranean Sea)Now you know who's behind the push for independence of one of the richest regions in Spain. (((them)) 

In reply to by sickavme

Ace Ventura God Emperor Thu, 09/21/2017 - 13:20 Permalink

Then why on Earth is the Spanish government so determined to hold on to such an enclave of moronic progtards? Wouldn't it be better to let them have their own libtard lemming utopia so they can descend into their own private hell and not take the rest of Spain with them?If only those types would all move to California and do the same thing here, we might have a remote shot at rescuing what's left of our dying republic.

In reply to by God Emperor

Overflow God Emperor Thu, 09/21/2017 - 19:11 Permalink

Finally, someone making sense. I'm astonished how ZH and most commenters here have swallowed the Catalonia independence hoax, and hw easily they are convinced to defend the real fascist and their neo-language.  Amazing. The independence issue is just a smoke screen to cover numbers in the broken pension funds, the insane houing prices, the crazy unemployment and, basically that Spain 2017 is Greece 2010.   Please Zerohedgers see this video: 2011 people in Catalonia were so fed up with the corruption of theis governmet that they took the House of Parlament and the President and some MP had to run away by HELICOPTER!!!  Yes, like in the movies and cartoons.   A few seeks later, desperated, that president decided to embrace the independence hoax. 

In reply to by God Emperor

LightBulb18 knukles Thu, 09/21/2017 - 15:20 Permalink

I don’t believe that only 40% of catalinians support separation. On top of the human reaction to coercion, we have always seen the established powers distort the polls whenever there was substantial money involved. Have no doubt, the value of Spanish debt is falling like A rock along with the Spanish governments legitimacy. It simply will be much, much worse if catilonia secedes. Inherently that is the problem of all unions of unequal contributors to A unions finances, as long as the catalinians are capable of A higher standard of living by what reason would they want to continue subsidizing the rest of spains standard of living? Because the benefit of belonging to A large trade block far outweighs the inequality of individual nations people’s contributions? Its doubtful that is the case, assuming the European union boycotts catalonia in the first place, and assuming that the denial of the European union market is substantially worth giving up your freedom for. The European union may not want individual nations to split up, but it may not want to expose itself as A tyrannical power yet either. In this circumstance the EU would be supporting the tyranny of an individual state. If they are hoping for censorship, I think they continue to fail to achieve their goal. In God I trust.

In reply to by knukles

Don Diego Manthong Thu, 09/21/2017 - 14:50 Permalink

100 Guardia Civil cops will be more than enough. The Catalans nationalists are the biggest pussies there is, antifa-homo-rapefugee-trans-loving. The Spanish goverment has been steadely reducing the military presence in the region, it used to be a division there, now there s only a reserve brigade as there is zero risk of a violent uprising.It is a pity really, as the Catalans were once thee most fearsome warriors of the Middle Ages, the "Catalan Company" was a mercenary force of a few thousand that under Byzantne pay kicked the Turks out of Asia Minor (they came back once the byzantines killed the mercenaries leadership and that diverted the catalan attention from Asia Minor to Greece).If Catalonia becomes independent, they will be the first Muslim republic in Western Europe. In fact a few months ago 160.000 Catalans demonstrated demanding more rapefugees. It is a pity so many uninformed ZHedgers align themselves with Soros and the MSM on this issue.

In reply to by Manthong

God Emperor Don Diego Thu, 09/21/2017 - 19:02 Permalink

You're talking about the Almogavars, those Aragon/Castilla/Catalonia mercenaries.FYI they were mostly peasants and shepherds from the mountaneous regions of N Spain, Pyrenees mountains , and not exclusivelly from Catalonia. As most mercenaries they settled whenever they conquered, be it Sicily or Constantinople (under Roger de Flor) where even their women had to fight the ottomans and the emperor's forces after Roger de Flor was betrayed by the Emperor Andronikos II and assasinated with some of the best warriors in order to not pay them. That tells us they went with their families and colonized, never coming back.Thus, only betas remained in Catalonia.  Then the Jews started to control things in the Kingdom of Aragon (which included Catalonia). See the infamous Borgias (((family)))  Since then the (((marranos))) are in charge.Sic transit gloria mundi PS The story is painted on the walls of the Mayor's Office in Barcelona, nicely done and explained by a guide.  

In reply to by Don Diego