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Old 10-01-2017, 05:04 PM   #1
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Red face Generalissimo Francisco Franco

Granny says, "S-o-o-o, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is not still dead after all?...

Ghost of Franco Haunting Spain
October 01, 2017 - They emerged early Sunday with helmets, masks and flak jackets from temporary overnight accommodation, cheap boarding houses and chartered cruise ships painted with huge Warner Bros. cartoon figures, Tweetie Pie and Daffy Duck, docked at Barcelona’s port. But as the day unfolded, Barcelona was far from being Disney World.
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Soon after polling stations opened, police, many drafted from outside Catalonia, moved in under orders from the national government in Madrid to block an independence referendum they and the country’s constitutional court said is illegal under the 1978 constitution that declares Spain indivisible. For Catalan separatists, Spain’s current constitution isn't free of the stamp of the former dictator Gen. Francisco Franco, who ruled the country for 40 years. They say underlining the constitution is a shameful, purposeful amnesia, one that ignores the suffering of Catalonia during the brutal 1930s civil war and the suppression of the Catalan language during Franco’s 40-year-long dictatorship. The ghost of Franco was never far from Sunday’s illegal referendum.


Spanish riot police swings a club against would-be voters near a school assigned to be a polling station by the Catalan government in Barcelona

Some of the extra police drafted into Spain’s restive north-east region had been cheered as they traveled to Catalonia by rightwing Spanish nationalists waving the national flag and chanting provocatively, “Viva Franco.” Sunday was a far cry from the unity and comradeship Spain presented to the world in August when Spaniards and Catalans mourned together the 13 killed and 100 injured when jihadists struck Barcelona. As a gray, wet Sunday unfolded and the police mounted a speedy show of force in the Catalan capital, firing rubber bullets and wielding batons at people lining up to cast their ballots, besieging polling stations, seizing ballot boxes and removing officials overseeing the illegal vote, Catalan separatists accused them of acting like Franco.


Some analysts feared Mariano Rajoy's center-right national government was being maneuvered cleverly by the separatists into overreacting. They argued before the vote that Madrid should just ignore a referendum that has no legal standing. They will point to Sunday’s events as confirming what they feared might happen. As a gray, wet Sunday unfolded and the police mounted a speedy show of force in the Catalan capital, firing rubber bullets and wielding batons at people lining up to cast their ballots, besieging polling stations, seizing ballot boxes and removing officials overseeing the illegal vote, Catalan separatists accused them of acting like Franco.


People queue to vote at a school listed to be a polling station by the Catalan government in Barcelona, Spain

Some analysts feared Mariano Rajoy's center-right national government was being maneuvered cleverly by the separatists into overreacting. They argued before the vote that Madrid should just ignore a referendum that has no legal standing. They will point to Sunday’s events as confirming what they feared might happen. As dawn broke Sunday more people gathered at designated polling stations. “Votarem, votarem!” - (“We will vote!”) they chanted. “It is pretty exciting,” said pro-separatist activist Jordi Gali outside a voting center in downtown Barcelona. “So many people are united with one idea in common,” he added. Within two hours of the polls opening, Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turull announced that 73 percent of polling stations were functioning, but added, “there are constant attacks on the computer system.” The Spanish government disputed the claim, saying most designated polling stations had been shuttered.

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