Catalan independence referendum: Police occupy voting stations and Barcelona communication hub


Spanish police have entered the Catalan government's communications hub in Barcelona. (Source: Getty)

Spanish police today sealed off voting stations to prevent Sunday's proposed Catalan independence referendum.

Authorities also occupied the Catalan government's communications hub in Barcelona.

Around 1,300 of the 2,315 schools designed as polling stations have been occupied by the police.

But government officials told Reuters 163 schools earmarked for voting have been occupied by families.

Read more: Catalan independence unlikely despite separatist victory

Tens of thousands of Catalans are expected to vote in a ballot on Sunday that will have no legal status as it has been blocked by Spain’s Constitutional Court.

Catalan leaders have said the vote will go ahead regardless.

“Everything is prepared at the more than 2,000 voting points so they have ballot boxes and voting slips, and have everything people need to express their opinion,” said regional leader Carles Puigdemont on Friday.

Catalonia’s High Court has also instructed US tech giant Google to delete an application it said was being used to spread information on the vote.

The head of the Catalan regional police ordered officers to evacuate and close polling stations by 6am on Sunday, before the voting is due to open at 9am.

Read more: Catalans vote in favour of break away from Spain