Carles Puigdemont says flooding region with police to stop looming referendum is a massive, undemocratic overreaction

Catalonia’s president has accused the Spanish government of a massive and profoundly undemocratic overreaction to its bid for independence, saying the state’s efforts to stop the looming referendum exceed the security measures used at the height of Eta’s terror campaign.

Speaking to the Guardian at the end of a turbulent week that has seen 14 senior Catalan officials arrested, almost 10m ballot papers seized and thousands more police ordered to the region, Carles Puigdemont said he feared Spain was returning to the repressive practices of the Franco era.

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