Puigdemont says vote crackdown boosting support

140 pro-independence websites shut down in Catalonia

While the overwhelming majority of our population wish to vote in an agreed referendum with guarantees, they do not want to be involved in a collision with unforeseen consequences.

The Catalan sports minister insists Barca, Espanyol and Girona will have to decide where they want to play after La Liga chief maintains they can not be part of Spain's top flight if the region goes it alone.

The unilateral political process thus far has contravened every applicable legal framework - from the parliamentary rules of Catalonia's own Statute of Autonomy to the Council of Europe's Venice Commission.

Spain has taken over Catalonia's budget to prevent spending and police have been ordered to block or close public buildings where the vote is meant to be held on Sunday.

"None of us know where it is", the activist who provided the video to the website said when asked to disclose the location.

Cherry went on to point out that while the Spanish Government are "trying to hide behind a cloak of legality", some high-profile members of the Spanish legal establishment have questioned what the Spanish Government are doing, and have accused it of using legal persecution as a weapon.

Pro-independence support has been growing since 2009, when Spain's financial bubble burst and austerity measures kicked in, The Economist says.

The dispute has plunged Spain into one of its biggest political crises since the restoration of democracy in the 1970s after decades of military dictatorship.

The Spanish government has again pledged to stop the referendum, which it says is unconstitutional.

Joan Maria Piqué, global communications director for the government of Catalonia, told CNN that another 200,000 ballot papers had been confiscated this week.

Hundreds of teachers and administrators have also showed up on the streets of Barcelona, uniformly shaking school keys in the air and lining up to hand them over to the ministers and Catalan government officials in a show of support for Sunday's vote.

President of the Catalonian regional government, Carles Puigdemont, attends a regional government meeting on September 26 in Barcelona.

"If you have followed all the demonstrations taking place in Catalonia. you'll see that it's in the DNA of the Catalan way to behave that [we] are always peaceful", Romeva said. Catalonians are getting "more and more" frustrated, Romeva said.

The EU has warned Catalonia it would be expelled from the bloc if it declares independence. Some wore flags saying "Sí", or "yes", draped round their shoulders.

The rich northeastern region is pressing ahead, and Puigdemont - who has labelled the government's response anti-democratic - said a week ago he had contingency plans in place to ensure the vote would take place.

Al Jazeera's John Hendren, reporting from Barcelona, said both sides have been preparing for confrontation over the looming vote.

Credit rating agency S&P said that while it did not it expect Catalonia, a wealthy region that borders France, to secede from Spain, protracted tensions between Madrid and Barcelona could have a negative impact on the country's economic growth outlook.

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