Police arrests Catalan crackdown

Catalonia closes ranks against Spain in referendum row

Visitors to Barcelona are being warned of demonstrations in the city that could disrupt travel.

"We will do it because we have contingency plans in place to ensure it happens, but above all because it has the support of the vast majority of the population who are sick of the arrogance and abuse of the People's Party (PP) government", he said in a televised statement.

Among those threatened is Josep Maria Jove, a top Catalan treasury official, who is being held on sedition charges. "We are respecting the Spanish Constitutional order", said the Berlaymont spokesperson, adding that no phone call is on the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's plans at the moment.

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Hundreds entered the main building of Barcelona University and occupied a central cloister near the offices of the dean and other university managers.

A spokesman for Junqueras confirmed the arrest and said that other Catalan government premises were being searched by the agents. It did not say how many extra police would be sent.

Student union representatives are calling for protesters to remain over the weekend to show support for the vote.

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The deployment comes amid rising tension between Spanish and Catalan authorities over the planned referendum. A pro-independence group says that about 2,500 supporters were attending the protest in Hospitalet.

The mood in Catalonia is growing increasingly nasty with just over a week to go before the banned ballot on October 1.

Numerous demonstrators in Barcelona had slept overnight near the judiciary building in tents or hammocks strung up between lampposts.

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Also on Friday, a Catalan regional judge ordered the release with restrictions of six people arrested on Wednesday in a crackdown on referendum preparations. Spain's Constitutional Court said September 21 it will begin fining 22 electoral board members appointed to oversee Catalonia's planned independence referendum between $7,200 and $14,400 a day as long as they fail to comply with a court order suspending the ballot.

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