Barcelona Could Join Premier League If The Catalonia Gains Independence

140 pro-independence websites shut down in Catalonia

She says Sunday's balloting will show the desire of Catalans to decide the region's future.

This is therefore not a proper referendum but a plebiscite of a decision imposed on the rest of the democratic body in Catalonia and Spain as a whole. The court has taken the complaint under review, thus suspending the Catalan law and making all further preparations for the referendum illegal, but the supporters of the vote have not ceased their activities.

Catalonia's High Court said Friday the "On Votar 1-Oct" application on the Google Play Store opposed a September order from Spain's Constitutional Court to suspend the referendum while it determined its legality, Reuters reported.

The ministry stressed that "the Spanish police and judiciary will seek to prevent the vote, and can organize demonstrations in reaction, especially in Barcelona", the capital of the province of Catalonia "is not unlikely to escalate".

"This has to do with identity more than anything else", says Ignacio Molina, professor and senior analyst at the Elcano think-tank, pointing out that speaking Catalan and being from rural areas are highly correlated with a desire for independence.

The central government has not been shy about enforcing its point of view.

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.

Lines of tractors draped in the red-and-yellow striped Catalan flag left provincial towns on Friday, planning to converge on Barcelona in a sign of support for the referendum.

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Oriol Junqueras said Catalan citizens will be able to vote "even if somebody takes voting stations by assault and tries to avoid something as natural as placing a voting slip in a ballot".

"I don't believe there will be anyone who will use violence or who will want to provoke violence that will tarnish the irreproachable image of the Catalan independence movement as pacifist", said Catalan President Carles Puigdemont.

She expressed concerns about the possibility of confrontation, but said if police forced them to leave the school they would.

The Spanish government faces increasing defiance to its attempts to crush a referendum on independence in Catalonia.

A report by Reporters Without Borders on Thursday said the regional government's drive to impose its side of the story in local, Spanish and worldwide media has "crossed the red lines". Spanish authorities have also arrested and held a number of Catalan politicians, academics and pro-independence activists.

In Brussels, EU officials and diplomats have said in recent days the referendum and Spanish authorities' efforts to prevent it were an internal issue - one in which none of Spain's EU partners ought to meddle. Puigdemont has accused the European Union of "turning its back" on Catalonia in its conflict with Spain's central government.

"With the regional government saying it will go ahead with the vote on Sunday, despite Spanish courts having ruled it to be illegal, the risk is that this turns into a constitutional crisis of some kind", says Simon Derrick, chief currency strategist at BNY Mellon.

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