2017 Spanish constitutional crisis
|2017 Spanish constitutional crisis|
|Part of the 2008–present Spanish financial crisis and the 2012–present Catalan independence movement|
|Date||6 September 2017 – present
(3 months, 1 week and 2 days)
|Location||Spain, primarily Catalonia
(some events in Brussels, Belgium)
|Methods||Demonstrations, civil disobedience, civil resistance, occupations, general strikes|
|Parties to the civil conflict|
|Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart were both arrested on 17 October 2017. Senior Generalitat figures were officially dismissed from office on 28 October 2017 after direct rule was enforced.|
The 2017 Spanish constitutional crisis, also known as the Catalan crisis, is an ongoing political conflict between the Government of Spain and the Government of Catalonia under President Carles Puigdemont—the legal government of Catalonia until 28 October 2017—over the issue of Catalan independence, starting after the law intending to allow the 2017 Catalan independence referendum was denounced by the Spanish government under Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and subsequently suspended by the Constitutional Court until it ruled on the issue. Some international media outlets have described the events as "one of the worst political crises in modern Spanish history".
Puigdemont's government announced that neither central Spanish authorities nor the courts would halt their plans and that it intended to hold the vote anyway, sparking a legal backlash that quickly spread from the Spanish and Catalan governments to Catalan municipalities—as local mayors were urged by the Generalitat to provide logistical support and help for the electoral process to be carried out—as well as to the Constitutional Court, the High Court of Justice of Catalonia and state prosecutors. By 15 September, as pro-Catalan independence parties began their referendum campaigns, the Spanish government had launched an all-out legal offensive to thwart the upcoming vote, including threats of a financial takeover of much of the Catalan budget, police seizing pro-referendum posters, pamphlets and leaflets which had been regarded as illegal and criminal investigations ordered on the over 700 local mayors who had publicly agreed to help stage the referendum. Tensions between the two sides reached a critical point after Spanish police raided the Catalan government headquarters in Barcelona on 20 September, at the start of Operation Anubis, and arrested fourteen senior Catalan officials. This led to protests outside the Catalan economy department which saw Civil Guard officers trapped inside the building for hours and several vehicles vandalised. The referendum was eventually held, albeit without meeting minimum standards for elections and amid low turnout and police crackdown resulting in hundreds injured.
On 10 October, Puigdemont ambiguously declared and suspended independence during a speech in the Parliament of Catalonia, arguing his move was directed at entering talks with Spain. The Spanish government required Puigdemont to clarify whether he had declared independence or not, to which it received no clear answer. A further requirement was met with an implicit threat from the Generalitat that it would lift the suspension on the independence declaration if Spain "continued its repression", in response to the imprisonment of the leaders of pro-independence Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, accused of sedition by the National Court because of their involvement in the 20 September events. On 21 October, it was announced by Prime Minister Rajoy that Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution would be invoked, leading to direct rule over Catalonia by the Spanish government once approved by the Senate.
On 27 October, the Catalan parliament voted in a secret ballot to unilaterally declare independence from Spain, with constitutionalist deputies boycotting a vote considered illegal for violating the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Spain, as the lawyers of the Parliament of Catalonia warned. As a result, the government of Spain invoked the Constitution to remove the regional authorities and enforce direct rule the next day, with a regional election being subsequently called for 21 December 2017 to elect a new Parliament of Catalonia. Puigdemont and part of his cabinet fled to Belgium after being ousted, as the Spanish Attorney General pressed for charges of sedition, rebellion and embezzlement against them.
The recent increase in support for Catalan independence has its roots in a Constitutional Court ruling in 2010, which struck down parts of the regional 2006 Statute of Autonomy that granted new powers of self-rule to the region. The ruling came after four years of deliberation concerning a constitutional appeal filed by the conservative People's Party (PP) under Mariano Rajoy—then the country's second-largest party, in opposition to the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's Spanish Socialist Workers' Party—and was met with anger and street protests in Catalonia. Shortly afterward the PP took power in Spain, and after a massive independence demonstration took place in Barcelona on 11 September 2012—Catalonia's National Day—the Catalan government under Artur Mas called a snap regional election and set out to initiate Catalonia's process towards independence.
After a pro-independence coalition formed by the Junts pel Sí alliance and the Popular Unity Candidacy won a slim majority in the Parliament in the 2015 regional election, Carles Puigdemont replaced Mas as President of the Generalitat. Puigdemont promised to organise a binding independence referendum based on results from a multi-question, non-binding vote in 2014, when about 80% of those who voted were believed to have backed independence for the region, and up to 91.8% supported Catalonia becoming a state—albeit on an estimated turnout around or below 40%. The Catalan government invoked the right of people to self-determination and Catalonia's political, economical and cultural background to back up its proposal for a referendum on Catalan independence. The Government of Spain, now with Mariano Rajoy as Prime Minister, opposed such a vote, arguing that any referendum on Catalan independence would go against the country's 1978 Constitution, as it made no provision for a vote on self-determination.
On 9 June 2017, Puigdemont announced that the planned independence referendum would be held on 1 October. The Catalan government criticised the attitude of the Spanish government in refusing to negotiate a referendum and accused it of behaving undemocratically.
Start of crisis
On 6 September 2017, the ruling Junts pel Sí (JxSí) coalition and its parliamentary partner, the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), passed a controversial law—the Law on the Referendum on Self-determination of Catalonia—in the Parliament of Catalonia that was to provide the legal framework for the intended independence referendum scheduled for 1 October. The way in which the law had been pushed through Parliament also became an issue of controversy. Catalan opposition parties accused JxSí and CUP of fast-tracking the law through parliament by altering the day's agenda to introduce the issue, violating their parliamentary rights by skipping legally-required steps for bills to go through before being put up to vote. Members from JxSí acknowledged it was not their preferred method, but justified it in that it was the only way to get the bill on the floor without being blocked and that it was not "any ordinary law". Shortly after the parliamentary vote, in which most of the opposition MPs walked out from the chamber without voting on the bill, the Catalan regional government signed the decree calling the referendum. The People's Party-led Spanish government under Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced that it would appeal the bill to the Constitutional Court, which agreed to hear all four of its unconstitutionality appeals and subsequently suspended the law and the referendum until it could rule upon the matter. Despite the referendum suspension, the Catalan government announced it would proceed with the vote anyway. This prompted Attorney General José Manuel Maza to ask security forces to investigate possible preparations from the Catalan government to hold the vote, as well as announcing he would present criminal charges against members of both the regional parliament and government for voting and signing off the referendum. The national government proceeded to deploy a series of legal measures intended to nullify the referendum, while also warning local councils in Catalonia to either impede or paralyse efforts to carry out the vote. Previously, local mayors had been given 48 hours by the regional government to confirm the availability of polling stations for 1 October. On 7 September and under a similar procedure as the day previously, pro-independence lawmakers in the Parliament of Catalonia passed the legal framework that was to prevail the Spanish one should a majority vote for the 'Yes' to independence choice.
Within the next two days, nearly 74% of Catalan municipalities—comprising about 43% of the Catalan population—had agreed to provide the necessary polling stations for the referendum, whereas many of the most-populated urban areas—representing 24% of Catalan inhabitants—had voiced their opposition to the vote. The largest city and capital of Catalonia, Barcelona—accounting for about 20% of the region's population—was caught in the middle, with its local mayor, Ada Colau, refusing to make a statement whether the municipality would provide logistic support to the referendum or not while rejecting putting public servants at risk; she, however, voiced her support for the people's right to vote in a fair and legal referendum. Concurrently, President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, Vice-President Oriol Junqueras, the entire Catalan government as well as parliamentary officials allowing the referendum law to be put to vote in Parliament—including Parliament Speaker Carme Forcadell—faced charges of disobedience, misusing public funds and making deliberately unlawful decisions as elected officials as the High Court of Justice of Catalonia agreed to hear the criminal complaints filled by state prosecutors.
Judicial and police action
On September 8, the Attorney General of Catalonia, José María Romero de Tejada presented two complaints to the High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) against him Government and the Bureau of Parliament for crimes of disobedience, prevarication and misappropriation of public funds, as announced the day before the Attorney General José Manuel Maza. These complaints included the guarantee request for the members of the Government as well as a request for a notification to all mayors of Catalonia to prevent any "personal or material resource, including local" resources being provided for the celebration of referendum The court was also asked to notify the Catalan media managers of the prohibition of inserting institutional advertising or propaganda of the referendum.
These complaints were admitted by the TSJC on 14 September without accepting the request for a deposit for the members of the Government. 
A decision on 13 September from Spain's public prosecutors to order a criminal probe of all local mayors who had publicly announced they would help stage the independence referendum—totalling over 700—came the day after the Constitutional Court had accepted the Spanish government's request to suspend the second of the two laws that had been approved by the secessionist majority in the Catalan parliament the previous week. The probe meant that prosecutors could choose to present criminal charges—or even arrest, if failing to answer the summons—local mayors who disobeyed the Constitutional Court's ruling. As part of a series of moves to block the Catalan referendum, prosecutors had also instructed police officials to seize ballot boxes, election flyers and other items that could be of use in the illegal vote, whereas the Constitutional Court had instructed regional government officials to show how they were preventing the vote from going ahead within a 48-hour deadline. In response, the Catalan government sent a letter to Treasury Minister Cristóbal Montoro announcing that it would stop sending weekly financial accounts to Spain's central government, a previously-established obligation that was meant to verify whether the region was using public money for the promotion of its independence drive as well as a requirement for the region's access to a funding programme to autonomous communities established in 2012. The Spanish government then proceeded to take direct control of most of Catalonia's invoice payments.
In a search on 19 September, Spanish police seized significant election material which had been in store by referendum organizers at the offices of a private delivery company in Terrassa. These included voting cards contained in envelopes with the Catalan government's logo. The next day, the Civil Guard raided Generalitat offices and arrested fourteen senior officials from the Catalan government—most notably, these included Josep Maria Jové, deputy to regional Vice-President Oriol Junqueras. This came after mayors from towns supporting the referendum were questioned in court by state prosecutors. Regional premier Carles Puigdemont condemned the actions as "anti-democratic and totalitarian", accusing the Spanish government of 'de facto' imposing a state of emergency and of suspending Catalonia's autonomy after it took effective control over Catalan finances. Public protests occurred in Barcelona after news of the arrests emerged, with left-wing political party Podemos and Barcelona mayor Ada Colau joining the growing criticism of Mariano Rajoy's government crackdown on public servants, dubbing it as an "authoritarian regression". The previous day, the Congress of Deputies had voted down a motion from Ciudadanos to support the Spanish government's response to the referendum, which was rejected by 166 votes to 158. Rajoy defended his government's actions in that "What we're seeing in Catalonia is an attempt to eliminate the constitution and the autonomous statute of Catalonia... Logically, the state has to react. There is no democratic state in the world that would accept what these people are trying to do. They've been warned and they know the referendum can't take place". Rajoy also called for the Catalonia government to give up its "escalation of radicalism and disobedience", calling for them to "Go back to the law and democracy" and dubbing the referendum a "chimera", as tens of thousands gathered in the streets of Barcelona and other Catalan cities to protest police actions. The Spanish government did not rule out invoking Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which would allow the central government to adopt "the necessary measures to compel regional authorities to obey the law"—in practice, allowing for the autonomy's effective suspension and direct rule of the region.
On 21 September, the Catalan government acknowledged that the raid and arrests in the previous day severely hampered the referendum's logistics by preventing any alternative election data centre to be established in time for the vote to take place. Nonetheless, Catalan Vice-President Junqueras called for people to turn out and mobilise on 1 October, turning the social response into a "censure motion to Rajoy", stating that "If there is any possibility of change in Spain, democracy must triumph in Catalonia". As street protests continued throughout Catalonia, additional police reinforcements were sent by the Spanish government to block any moves to hold the referendum on 1 October. Spanish prosecutors formally accused some protesters in Barcelona of sedition, after several Civil Guard patrol cars had been vandalised on Wednesday night. By 23 September, the Spanish government announced that the Mossos d'Esquadra—the regional police force—were to be subordinated to a single command dependent of the Spanish government and that the Interior Ministry would assume co-ordination over all security forces in Catalonia. The previous day, several hundred students had announced a permanent occupation of the historic building of the University of Barcelona, protesting the state's actions.
Referendum and subsequent events
Despite the suspension, the Catalan referendum was held on 1 October 2017, as scheduled by the Generalitat. Over 12,000 officers from the National Police Corps and the Civil Guard were deployed throughout Catalonia in an effort to close off polling stations and seize all election material to prevent the vote from taking place. The Spanish government was forced to call off police raids after clashes with protesters resulted in two people seriously injured. 893 civilians and 431 agents of the Nacional Police and the Civil Guard were reported to have been injured initially, and a negligible effect on the electoral process. According to various sources these previously reported figures may have been exaggerated. According to the judge from Barcelona that is currently investigating the accusations of police violence there were 218 people injured that day, 20 of whom were agents. The final official numbers by the Catalan government show that 1066 civilians and 11 agents of the National Police and the Guardia Civil, and 1 from the regional police the Mossos d'Esquadra were injured. Reports from the violence spread internationally, receiving a mostly negative response from the media and several national governments, with Spanish police forces criticised for their heavy-handed crackdown on the referendum. The events of 1 October sparked a public outcry in Catalonia, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets to protest Spanish police violence.
On 3 October 2017, as huge protest rallies and a general strike took place in Catalonia, King Felipe VI delivered an unusually strongly worded televised address in which he condemned the referendum organizers for acting "outside the law", accusing them of "unacceptable disloyalty" and of "eroding the harmony and co-existence within Catalan society itself". He also warned the referendum could put the economy of the entire north-east region of Spain at risk. Reactions to the King's speech were mixed. Party officials from the PP and Ciudadanos praised the King's "commitment to legality", whereas leaders from Unidos Podemos and Catalunya en Comú criticised it as "unworthy and irresponsible", paving the way for a harsh intervention in Catalan autonomy. PSOE's leaders expressed support for the King's words in public, but were reported to be privately dissatisfied that the King had not made any call to encourage understanding or dialogue between the Spanish and Catalan governments. On 5 October the Constitutional Court of Spain suspended a future parliamentary session (scheduled for 9 October) that was planned in order to push for a Declaration of Independence.
On 5 October, Banco Sabadell, the second-largest bank based in Catalonia, announced its decision to move its legal headquarters out of the region amid economic uncertainty over the future of Catalonia's political situation ahead of a projected unilateral declaration of independence the ensuing week, which had seen sharp falls in the group's share prices the previous day and rating agencies downgrading the region. Concurrently, CaixaBank, the biggest bank in the region and the third largest in Spain, also announced it was considering redomiciling outside Catalonia. This sparked a massive business exit in the ensuing hours, with companies such as Abertis, Gas Natural, Grifols, Fersa Energias Renovables, Agbar, Freixenet, Codorníu, Idilia Foods, San Miguel Beer and Planeta Group also announcing or considering their intention to move their HQs out of Catalonia. The Spanish government announced on Friday 6 October that it would issue a decree allowing companies based in Catalonia to move out of the region without holding a shareholders' meeting. Within two weeks, more than 1,000 business and firms would move out of Catalonia. Simultaneously, far-right groups increasingly took to the streets throughout Spain in a quest to defend Spanish unity, with some gatherings leading to violent scuffles in Barcelona and Valencia. This sparked concerns among analysts that the Catalan crisis could lead to a rise of the far-right in Spain after decades on the margins. The Mossos d'Esquadra were put under investigation for disobedience, accused of not complying with a command from the High Court of Justice of Catalonia to prevent the referendum and with their pasivity allowing polling stations to open.
In an ambiguous speech during a parliamentary session in the Parliament of Catalonia on 10 October, Puigdemont declared that "Catalonia had earned the right to be an independent state" and that he defended "the mandate of the people of Catalonia to become an independent republic". However, he immediately announced that parliament would suspend a formal declaration of independence in order to pursue dialogue with the Spanish government. Puigdemont and other pro-independence deputies then signed a symbolic declaration of independence with no legal effect. Puigdemont's move came after pressure resulting from the business exit on the previous days as well as pleas from Barcelona's mayor Ada Colau and European Council President Donald Tusk urging him to step back from declaring independence. This was met with disappointment from thousands of pro-independence supporters who had gathered nearby to watch the session on giant screens, as well as criticism from the CUP, who voiced their discontent at Puigdemont's decision not to proclaim a Catalan republic right away and did not rule out abandoning the Parliament until the signed declaration of independence was effective.
On 17 October, the National Court ordered Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart—leaders of pro-independence groups Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural—to be preventively put into jail without bail pending an investigation into alleged sedition for having played central roles in orchestrating massive protests aimed at hindering Civil Guard activity. They were accused of leading the protest of tens of thousands of people that surrounded the Catalan economy department offices on 20–21 September 2017 heeding a call made by Òmnium Cultural and ANC, during which three vehicles of the Civil Guard were vandalised and their occupants forced to flee into the Economy Department building, a court clerk remained trapped until midnight inside the building and had to flee by the roof, while several agents were trapped throughout the night as demonstrators shouted outside "You won't get out!". The Civil Guard agents cornered into the building made 6 calls for help to the autonomous police force of Catalonia Mossos d'Esquadra which were ignored, the first of them performed at 9:14 am with the subject: "Urgent - Request for support to Mossos". According to the judge the actions of Sànchez and Cruixat are into the scope of sedition, a felony regulated by the article 544 and subsequents of the Spanish Criminal Code:
Conviction for sedition shall befall those who, without being included in the felony of rebellion, public and tumultuously rise up to prevent, by force or outside the legal channels, application of the laws, or any authority, official corporation or public officer from lawful exercise of the duties thereof or implementation of the resolutions thereof, or of administrative or judicial resolutions.— Article 544 of the Spanish Criminal Code.
Pro-independence politicians and organizations, including Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, have referred to Cuixart and Sànchez as political prisoners. The Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catalá argued that they were not "political prisoners" but "imprisoned politicians". An article published in El País argued that according to the criteria established by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Sànchez and Cuixart could not be considered "political prisoners". Amnesty International issued an official statement considering the charge of sedition and the preventive imprisonment as "excessive" and called for their immediate release, but several days later made it clear that it did not consider them "political prisoners". Some Catalan media, such as La Vanguardia, reported that footage from the incident showed Cuixart and Sànchez trying to call off the protests, contradicting that part of the judicial order imprisoning them which said that they had not tried "to call off the demonstration".
Independence declaration and direct rule
On 11 October, after an extraordinary cabinet meeting intended to address the events on the previous day, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced he was formally requiring the Catalan government to confirm whether it had declared independence before 16 October at 10 am, with a further 3-day deadline until 19 October to revoke all deemed illegal acts if an affirmative answer—or no answer at all—was obtained. This requirement was a formal requisite needed to trigger article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, a so-called "nuclear option" that would allow the Spanish government to suspend Catalonia's political autonomy and impose direct rule from Madrid. Pressure mounted within the pro-independence coalition as the CUP demanded an unambiguous affirmation of Catalan independence, threatening to withdraw its parliamentary support from Puigdemont's government if he rescinded his independence claim. In his formal response to Rajoy's requirement hurrying the initial five-day deadline, Puigdemont failed to clarify whether independence had been declared and instead called for negotiations over the following two months. The Spanish government replied that this was not a valid response to its requirement and doubted that Puigdemont's offer for dialogue was sincere due to his lack of "clarity". The refusal from the Catalan government to either confirm or deny independence triggered a second deadline for them to backtrack before direct rule was imposed. The Spanish government subsequently offered to abort the incoming move to suspend self-rule if the Catalan government called for a regional election, but this was ruled out by the latter.
If a self-governing community does not fulfil the obligations imposed upon it by the constitution or other laws, or acts in a way that is seriously prejudicial to the general interest of Spain, the government may take all measures necessary to compel the community to meet said obligations, or to protect the above-mentioned general interest.
On 19 October, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy confirmed that the Spanish government would trigger Article 155 and move to suspend Catalonia's autonomy after a cabinet meeting scheduled for 21 October, following a letter from Puigdemont in which he said that the independence declaration remained suspended but that the Catalan parliament could choose to vote on it if Spain continued its "repression". Subsequently, Rajoy announced the Spanish government would take direct control over the Generalitat of Catalonia, proceeding to remove Puigdemont and the entire Catalan government from their offices and call a regional election within six months, pending Senate approval.
On 26 October, one day ahead of the scheduled enforcement of Article 155 by the Spanish Senate, it was announced that Puigdemont had chosen to dissolve the Parliament of Catalonia within the coming hours and call for an emergency snap election on or around 20 December in order to prevent direct rule from Madrid. This move sparked an outcry within pro-independence ranks, as they wished to hold a vote for a unilateral declaration of independence in response to the Spanish government's move to trigger Article 155. In the end Puigdemont chose not to dissolve Parliament, allegedly because of the Spanish government's refusal to call off the Article 155 procedure even though an election was called by Puigdemont. A debate over a possible declaration of independence then went ahead as planned in the Parliament of Catalonia later that day and into the next morning, simultaneous to the Spanish Senate debating the enforcement of Article 155. At the end of the debate, the Catalan parliament voted for a unilateral declaration of independence, by secret ballot, which was backed 70–10, with two MPs casting a blank ballot, with all MPs from Citizens, the Socialists' Party of Catalonia and the People's Party boycotting the vote because of its illegality for violating the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Spain, as the lawyers of the Parliament of Catalonia warned.
Subsequently, on 28 October, Mariano Rajoy dismissed the Executive Council of Catalonia, dissolved the Parliament of Catalonia and called a snap regional election for 21 December 2017, after obtaining the Senate endorsement to the invoking of Article 155, and handed coordination over Generalitat of Catalonia functions to Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría. On 30 October, as Spanish Attorney General José Manuel Maza called for charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement against Puigdemont and other Catalan leaders, it transpired that the ousted President and five of his ministers had fled to Belgium. Puigdemont, however, declared that he was not in Belgium "to seek asylum" and that he would respect the 21 December election, but also noting that he would not return home until "a fair judicial process was guaranteed" in Spain. Concurrently, lack of civil unrest and work resuming as normal throughout Catalonia showed direct rule from Madrid taking hold, with Spanish authorities reasserting administrative control over Catalan territory with little resistance. On 31 October, the independence declaration was suspended by the Constitutional Court of Spain.
Spain's National Court (Spanish: Audiencia Nacional) summoned Puigdemont and 13 other members of his dismissed government to appear on 2 November to respond to the criminal charges pressed against them. It was later ordered by the judge that eight members of the deposed Catalan government—including Puigdemont's deputy and ERC leader, Oriol Junqueras—be remanded in custody without bail after testifying for posing a flight risk, with a ninth—Santi Vila—being granted a €50,000 bail. Spanish prosecutors sought a European Arrest Warrant for Puigdemont and four other members who had remained in Belgium and refused to attend the hearing. The EAW demanding Puigdemont and his allies' arrest was officially issued to Belgium the next day, on 3 November, which Belgium said they would "study" before making any decisions. The detention of the former Generalitat members led to increased protests in Catalonia, with thousands calling for "freedom" for whom they viewed as "political prisoners". Puigdemont declared from an undisclosed location in Belgium that he regarded the detentions as "an act that breaks with the basic principles of democracy". In contrast, a separate case against other Catalan lawmakers was adjourned by the Supreme Court (Spanish: Tribunal Supremo) after all six of them, including Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell, showed up to the summons. Puigdemont and the four other cabinet members turned themselves in to Belgian authorities on 5 November, awaiting a decision by the federal prosecutor on whether to hand them over to Spain or decline the warrant. They were released by the judge on the same day on conditions, such as they would not be able to leave the country without prior consent and would have to provide details to the police about their accommodation. On 5 December, six jailed members of the deposed government were freed on bail, while four others, including Oriol Junqueras, were required to remain imprisoned. The next day, Spain withdrew the EAW against Puigdemont just over a month after issuing it to Belgian authorities.
Alleged international intervention
Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned Catalonia’s independence referendum as "illegal". However, an analysis by the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs of over five million social media messages found that some Russian media and accounts on social networks related to Venezuela allegedly collaborated on disseminating negative propaganda against the Spanish government days before and after the referendum. Russia's RT and Sputnik would use Venezuelan social bots that would typically promote the Bolivarian government in Venezuela to criticize the Spanish government and police violence against citizens in Catalonia. Social bots, anonymous accounts and official state media accounts shared 97% of the anti-Spain messages while only 3% of the messages were shared by real social media members. Leaders of the George Washington University study displayed concern about the findings, stating that "democratic systems have the obligation to investigate these signs and implement systematic methods of monitoring and responding to alleged disruptions of foreign agents" and that it appeared the authors of the propaganda are the same as the ones who allegedly interfered in the 2016 United States presidential election and Brexit.
The Spanish Ministry of Defence and the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation later said it had confirmed that Russian actors and Venezuela had attempted to destabilize the nation and Europe by means of propaganda, though it would not confirm if the Russian government was directly involved and warned that similar misinformation actions may take place in future elections. NATO officials also made comments stating that Russia has been attempting to undermine Western governments through disinformation campaigns.
Members of Catalonia's separatist groups have denied allegations of foreign interference. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in response: "Probably they are arranging this kind of scandalous, sensational hysteria in order to distract the attention of their electorate from their inability to resolve their problems at home." Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on November 15: "The Spanish authorities, NATO, and the newspapers did not bring up a single worthwhile argument to back these claims. We consider these claims to be groundless, and more likely a deliberate or inadvertent continuation of the same hysteria that is now happening in the United States and a number of other countries."
- Agencia EFE (2 October 2017). "El despliegue de la Policía Nacional y la Guardia Civil se mantendrá en Cataluña". 20 minutos (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 October 2017.
- "Thousands of Spanish police and Civil Guards deploy across Catalonia". El Nacional. Barcelona. 1 October 2017. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
- Sellart, Jaume (12 September 2017). "Guardia Civil y Policía Nacional movilizan mil antidisturbios más en Catalunya". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). Barcelona. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
- "Interior asegura que 431 policías y guardias civiles resultaron heridos en el dispositivo del 1-O" (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. Europa Press. 2 October 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
- "Balanç de les càrregues de l'1-O: 1.066 ferits, 23 d'ells més grans de 79 anys i dos menors d'11". Nació Digital (in Catalan). October 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Agencia EFE (2 October 2017). "Un detenido y tres heridos en la marcha por el derecho a decidir en Madrid". 20 minutos (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 October 2017.
- Gilbert, Mark (7 September 2017). "Catalonia Cries "Freedom!" Market Says "Not So Fast..."". Bloomberg. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- "Catalonia crisis in 300 words". BBC News. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- "Spain Catalonia: Court blocks independence referendum". BBC News. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- Strange, Hannah (7 September 2017). "Spain's constitutional court suspends Catalan referendum law". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- Stothard, Michael (20 September 2017). "Spanish national police raid Catalan government headquarters". Financial Times. Madrid. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- Noguer, Miquel; Tena, Berta (8 September 2017). "Prosecutors take action against Catalan officials after referendum law passed". El País. Barcelona, Madrid. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- "Catalonia pushes Spain toward crisis". The Leader. 9 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- Hedgecoe, Guy (15 September 2017). "Spain's crisis sharpens as Catalonia referendum campaign begins". The Irish Times. Madrid. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
- "Spanish police confiscate Catalan referendum material". Al Jazeera. 18 September 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
- Ortega Dolz, Patricia; Andrés, Guillen; Pérez, Fernando Jesús (22 September 2017). "Spanish prosecutors formally accuse Barcelona protesters of sedition". El País. Barcelona, Madrid. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- "Catalan referendum: 'Hundreds hurt' as police try to stop voters". BBC News. 1 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- Cotovio, Vasco (1 October 2017). "Hundreds injured as Spain cracks down on Catalan referendum". CNN. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- Sanchez, Ray; Gallón, Natalie (10 October 2017). "Catalonia's president puts off declaration of split from Spain". CNN. Barcelona. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- "Catalonia independence declaration signed and suspended". BBC News. 10 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- "Catalonia leader Puigdemont fails to clarify independence bid". BBC News. 16 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Fotheringham, Alasdair (16 October 2017). "Catalonia: Spanish judge jails two independence leaders for possible sedition". The Independent. Madrid. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- "Spain moves to suspend Catalan autonomy". BBC News. 19 October 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- Ponce de León, Rodrigo (21 October 2017). "Rajoy aprueba la intervención completa de Catalunya para cesar al Govern y convocar elecciones". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- Burgen, Stephen (21 October 2017). "Catalonia crisis escalates as Spain set to impose direct rule within days". The Guardian. Barcelona. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- "Catalonia independence: Spain pushes to remove leaders". BBC News. 21 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- "Un Parlament semivacío consuma en voto secreto la rebelión contra el Estado". El Mundo (in Spanish). 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "Los letrados del Parlament advierten de que la votación de la DUI es ilegal". 20 minutos (in Spanish). 27 October 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
- "PPC, PSC y Ciudadanos abandonarán el Parlament si se vota la resolución de Junts pel Sí y la CUP". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 27 October 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
- "Catalan crisis: Regional MPs debate Spain takeover bid". BBC. 26 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "Catalan crisis: Spain PM Rajoy demands direct rule". BBC. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "Catalonia's longest week". BBC News. 4 November 2017. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
- "Catalonia independence: Rajoy dissolves Catalan parliament". BBC News. Barcelona, Madrid. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "Sacked Catalan leader 'in Belgium'". BBC News. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- Guindal, Carlota (30 October 2017). "La Fiscalía se querella contra Puigdemont y el Govern por rebelión y sedición". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 October 2017.
- Jones, Sam (30 October 2017). "Spanish prosecutor calls for rebellion charges against Catalan leaders". The Guardian. Barcelona. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
- "Catalan independence: Spain high court summons dismissed leader". BBC News. 31 October 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- "Spanish Constitutional Court cuts back Catalan Statute of Autonomy". Nationalia. 29 June 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- Govan, Fiona (29 June 2010). "Catalonia can call itself a 'nation', rules Spain's top court". The Daily Telegraph. Madrid. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- Burgen, Stephen (11 September 2012). "Catalan independence rally brings Barcelona to a standstill". The Guardian. Barcelona. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- Jackson, Patrick (14 September 2017). "Catalonia's collision course with Madrid". BBC News. Barcelona, Madrid. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
- Jones, Sam (9 June 2017). "Catalonia calls independence referendum for October". The Guardian. Madrid. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- "Catalonia plans an independence vote whether Spain lets it or not". The Economist. Madrid. 15 July 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- Jones, Sam; Burgen, Stephen (20 September 2017). "Catalan president says Madrid is suspending region's autonomy". The Guardian. Madrid, Barcelona. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- "Catalonia to hold self-determination referendum on October 1, 2017". Barcelona. Catalan News Agency. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- Jones, Sam (6 September 2017). "Catalonia to hold independence vote despite anger in Madrid". The Guardian. Madrid. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- "Catalan parliament passes controversial referendum law". El País. Barcelona, Madrid. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- "Catalonia's parliament approves law aimed at independence from Spain". Efe. Madrid. 7 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- Minder, Raphael (8 September 2017). "Catalonia Independence Bid Pushes Spain Toward Crisis". The New York Times. Barcelona. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- Noguer, Miquel (8 September 2017). "Spain's PM to Catalan secessionists: "Stop walking toward the abyss"". El País. Barcelona. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- "Catalonian mayors prepare for separatist vote as Spain ramps up legal action". Efe. Barcelona. 7 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- Galán, Javier; Alameda, David; Abad Liñán, José Manuel; Pueyo Busquets, Jordi (7 September 2017). "¿Qué ayuntamientos han dicho ya sí o no al referéndum de Cataluña?". El País (in Spanish). Barcelona, Madrid. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- Parra, Aritz (8 September 2017). "Catalan officials defy Madrid on independence vote". ABC News. Madrid. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- Puente, Arturo (8 September 2017). "Colau pide garantías a la Generalitat para facilitar el 1-O". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- Solé Altimira, Oriol (8 September 2017). "El TSJC admite la querella contra Puigdemont, Junqueras y todos los consellers por el referéndum". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- "The criminal prosecution proceeds the Government and the Parliament table" (in Catalan). Ara. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
- "The TSJC avoids claiming a deposit to the members of the Government for the 1- O" (in Catalan). Ara. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
- "Spain threatens to arrest over 700 Catalan pro-referendum mayors". The Daily Telegraph. 13 September 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Spain summons Catalan mayors over independence vote". Al Jazeera. 14 September 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- "Catalonia refuses to send weekly accounts to Madrid before referendum". Madrid. Reuters. 14 September 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- Estévez Torreblanca, Marina; Carreño, Belén (15 September 2017). "El Gobierno asume los pagos de las facturas catalanas". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 September 2017.
- Sixto Baquero, Camilo; Sérvulo González, Jesús (14 September 2017). "Catalonia to central government ahead of referendum: No more spending reports". El País. Barcelona, Madrid. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
- "Catalonia referendum: Spanish raid deals blow to vote". BBC News. 19 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- "Catalonia referendum: Spain steps up raids to halt vote". BBC News. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- Hernández, José Antonio; Carranco, Rebeca; García, Jesús (20 September 2017). "Civil Guard raids Catalan government offices, arrests 14 over illegal referendum". El País. Barcelona, Madrid. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- Stone, Jon (20 September 2017). "Spanish police storm Catalan government buildings to stop independence referendum". The Independent. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- "Catalan crisis: 'State of emergency' as Madrid cracks down on referendum by rounding up officials". The Journal. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- Stone, Jon (20 September 2017). "Catalonia referendum: Catalonian government 'de facto' suspended by Spain, President of region says". The Independent. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- "Catalonia referendum: Spain PM calls for 'escalation' to stop". Financial Times. Madrid. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- Marsden, Sam (20 September 2017). "Catalonia: Thousands take to streets of Barcelona to protest crackdown on separatists". The Independent. Barcelona. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- Toyer, Julien; Edwards, Sam (21 September 2017). "Spanish crackdown has undermined Catalan independence bid, regional leader says". Madrid, Barcelona. Reuters. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- Tomàs, Neus (20 September 2017). "20-S, golpe letal al referéndum". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- "Junqueras: "La mejor moción de censura a Rajoy es el referéndum en Catalunya"". Europa Press (in Spanish). Barcelona. 21 September 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- "Spain sends more police to block Catalonia referendum". Madrid. Reuters. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- Jones, Sam (22 September 2017). "Catalan leader accuses Spanish government of Franco-style crackdown". The Guardian. Barcelona. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- "El fiscal comunica a los Mossos que Interior asume el control de la seguridad en Catalunya". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 23 September 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- "El movimiento estudiantil anuncia la ocupación indefinida de la UB". El Nacional (in Spanish). 22 September 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- "Spain Takes Over Coordinating Police Work in Catalonia". The New York Times. Barcelona. 23 September 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- "Students occupy Barcelona university in support of secession". Fox News Channel. Barcelona. 23 September 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
- País, El (3 October 2017). "¿Cuántos heridos hubo en realidad el 1-O?". EL PAÍS (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Over 840 people injured in Catalonia during referendum: Catalonia regional government". Reuters. 1 October 2017.
- Iglesias, Leyre (9 October 2017). ""Contamos como agresiones hasta las ansiedades por ver las cargas por televisión"". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 October 2017.
- "Juez contabiliza 218 heridos en las cargas policiales en Barcelona el 1-O". La Vanguardia. EFE. 10 October 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
- Requeijo, Alejandro (6 October 2017). "El juez que investiga las cargas policiales: "No era ilegal" votar el 1-O". El Español (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 October 2017.
- "Informe sobre els incidents dels dies 1 al 4 d'octubre de 2017" (PDF) (in Catalan). Generalitat de Catalunya. 19 October 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- "Catalan referendum: Vote illegal – Spain's King Felipe". BBC News. 3 October 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
- Jones, Sam (3 October 2017). "King Felipe: Catalonia's authorities have 'scorned' all Spaniards with referendum". The Guardian. Barcelona. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- Clarke, Hillary; Rebaza, Claudia; Soares, Soa (3 October 2017). "King of Spain accuses Catalan leaders of 'unacceptable disloyalty'". CNN. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- "El PP destaca que el rey 'se ha vuelto a comprometer con la legalidad'". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 3 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- Gil, Andrés (3 October 2017). "El discurso del rey enciende a Unidos Podemos y los 'comunes'". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- "Dirigentes socialistas echan en falta una llamada al entendimiento en las palabras del rey". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 3 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- "Spain court halts independence move by MPs". BBC News. 5 October 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
- Stothard, Michael; Buck, Tobias (5 October 2017). "Big bank to move headquarters out of Catalonia". Financial Times. Madrid, Barcelona. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Catalonia banks prepare to move amid fears of customer exodus". Independent. 6 October 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- Petroff, Alanna; Liakos, Chris (6 October 2017). "Top bank moving HQ out of Catalonia over threat of split from Spain". CNN Money. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- Linsell, Katie; Duarte, Esteban (6 October 2017). "Catalonia banks prepare to move amid fears of customer exodus". Independent. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- Burguen, Stephen (6 October 2017). "Catalonia seeks to prevent business exit in event of independence declaration". The Guardian. Barcelona. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- Muñoz Vélez, Antonio (6 October 2017). "Diez cotizadas catalanas pueden usar el decreto del Gobierno para permitir mudanzas exprés". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- "Aguas de Barcelona (Agbar) también decide trasladar su sede social de Barcelona a Madrid". El Economista (in Spanish). 7 October 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
- "La salida de empresas de Cataluña se dispara y llega al récord de 268 en un solo día". El Mundo (in Spanish). 20 October 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- McLaughlin, Kelly (15 October 2017). "Catalan leader has until Monday morning to tell Madrid whether he did or didn't declare independence as Spain teeters on verge of splitting". Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- "1-O. La pasividad de los Mossos y las posteriores cargas policiales marcan un día de tensión con votaciones sin garantías". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 1 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- G. Labat, Jesús; Vázquez, Ángeles (1 October 2017). "Siete jueces investigan a los Mossos por desobediencia al no frenar el 1-O". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). Barcelona, Madrid. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- "Spanish judge calls on Catalan police chief to testify in sedition probe". EFE. 4 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Jones, Sam (10 October 2017). "Catalan government suspends declaration of independence". The Guardian. Barcelona. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- "La CUP lanza un ultimátum a Puigdemont y podría abandonar el Parlament". El Economista (in Spanish). 10 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Hannah, Strange (16 October 2017). "Two Catalan independence leaders taken into custody by Spanish national court". The Telegraph. Barcelona. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- "Spain High Court jails Catalan separatist leaders pending investigation". The Guardian. Madrid. 17 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- "The "Jordis" are not political prisoners – here's why". El País. Madrid. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- Badcock, James (4 October 2017). "Catalonia's police chief faces sedition charge for 'allegedly failing to follow orders' ahead of referendum". The Telegraph. Madrid.
- Pinheiro, Marcos (17 October 2017). "Las claves del auto de Sànchez y Cuixart: actuaron contra la Guardia Civil para "proteger" a altos cargos". eldiario.es (in Spanish).
- "La Fiscalía denuncia por sedición en la Audiencia Nacional los incidentes de Barcelona tras las detenciones". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 22 September 2017.
- "El testimonio que puede llevar a prisión a Trapero: "Sentí terror y humillación"" (in Spanish). El Español. 15 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "Desvelan las 6 llamadas de auxilio de la Guardia Civil a los Mossos". Antena 3 (in Spanish). 6 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "¿Qué es el delito de sedición? Así lo regula el Código Penal" (in Spanish). El Periódico. 17 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- Criminal Code Organic Law of 1995, Organic Law No. 10 of November 23, 1995 Official State Gazette (in Spanish). Retrieved on 28 October 2017.
- ""We have political prisoners again," says Catalan president". Catalan News. 16 October 2017. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
- "Political Prisoner or Jailed Politician? It's Catalans' Spin Battle With Spain". 18 October 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
- "Spain: charges for sedition and pre-trial detention against Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez are excessive". Amnesty International. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- "Amnistía no ve como presos políticos a los dirigentes catalanes detenidos". El Mundo. 8 November 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
- Calvet, Josep Maria (17 October 2017). "Un vídeo muestra cómo Cuixart y Sànchez intentaron disolver la manifestación de Economia". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 October 2017.
- Ponce de León, Rodrigo (11 October 2017). "El Gobierno exige que Puigdemont aclare su posición sobre la independencia antes del lunes". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Ponce de León, Rodrigo (11 October 2017). "Rajoy anuncia el requerimiento a la Generalitat previo a la aplicación del artículo 155". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- "Spain moves towards activating "nuclear option" on Catalonia crisis". Reuters. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Rogers, Jon (11 October 2017). "Catalonia crisis: Rajoy opens way to suspending region's self-rule". Daily Express. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Vallespín, Ivanna (16 October 2017). "Puigdemont letter fails to provide clear answer on independence declaration". El País. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- "El Gobierno cree que la carta de Puigdemont "parece que no responde a lo que se le ha solicitado"". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 16 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Ponce de León, Rodrigo (16 October 2017). "El Gobierno duda de la oferta de diálogo de Puigdemont y pone en marcha el segundo requerimiento". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Jones, Sam (16 October 2017). "Catalan president Carles Puigdemont ignores Madrid's ultimatum". The Guardian. Madrid. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Couzens, Gerard (16 October 2017). "Furious Spain sets Catalonia new deadline as it REFUSES to confirm independence". Daily Express. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Mármol, Iolanda; Martín, Patricia (18 October 2017). "El Gobierno frenaría el artículo 155 si Puigdemont convocase elecciones autonómicas". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- García Pagán, Isabel (26 October 2017). "Puigdemont convocará elecciones en Catalunya para el miércoles 20 de diciembre". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 October 2017.
- Pardo Torregrosa, Iñaki (26 October 2017). "Dimiten los diputados Albert Batalla y Jordi Cuminal del PDeCAT por la convocatoria de elecciones". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 October 2017.
- B. García, Luis (26 October 2017). "La CUP se irrita con el nuevo rumbo de Puigdemont hacia las elecciones autonómicas". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 October 2017.
- Tomàs, Newus; Puente, Arturo (26 October 2017). "Puigdemont no convoca elecciones tras fracasar la negociación con el Gobierno para retirar el 155". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 October 2017.
- Dewan, Angela; Rebaza, Claudia (26 October 2017). "Catalan leader stumbles in bid for independence from Spain". CNN. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
- "Catalan parliament declares independence from Spain". BBC. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- Ponce de León, Rodrigo (27 October 2017). "Rajoy cesa a Puigdemont y su Govern y convoca elecciones para el 21 de diciembre". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría - Madrid's enforcer for Catalonia". BBC News. 28 October 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
- Mansfield, Katie (28 October 2017). "Spain takes charge of Catalonia- Deputy PM handed CONTROL of region amid fears of violence". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
- Rankin, Jennifer; Burguen, Stephen (31 October 2017). "Catalonia crisis: deposed leader Puigdemont says he'll respect elections". The Guardian. Brussels, Barcelona. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- Stone, Jon (31 October 2017). "Carles Puigdemont says he can't return to Catalonia because Spain is intent on 'vengeance'". The Independent. Brussels. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- Tadeo, Maria; Strauss, Marine; Duarte, Esteban (30 October 2017). "Catalonia Bows to Spanish Authority as Rajoy's Strategy Prevails". Bloomberg. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
- "Work resumes normally in Catalonia as Spain enforces direct rule". Barcelona, Madrid. Reuters. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
- "El Constitucional suspende la declaración de independencia de Catalunya". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 31 October 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
- Jones, Sam (2 November 2017). "Spanish judge jails eight members of deposed Catalan government". The Guardian. Madrid. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
- "EU warrant sought for ex-Catalan leader". BBC News. 2017-11-02. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Spain issues warrant for Catalan ex-leader". BBC News. 2017-11-03. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
- "Catalan protest against Spain jail moves". BBC News. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Spanish court orders detention of 8 former Catalan ministers". CNN. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Boffey, Daniel (5 November 2017). "Carles Puigdemont turns himself in to Belgian police". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
- "Catalan ex-leader freed by Belgian judge". BBC News. 6 November 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
- "Four Catalan separatists to stay in jail". BBC News. 2017-12-04. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
- "Catalan leaders' arrest warrants dropped". BBC News. 2017-12-05. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
- "Spain blames RUSSIA for Catalonia crisis as Madrid accuses Moscow of DESTABILISING country ". Express.co.uk. 13 November 2017.
- "Spain joins call for EU action on propaganda". EUobserver. 13 November 2017.
- "'Illegal' Putin condemns Catalonia referendum and will continue to treat Spain as one". Express.co.uk. 28 September 2017.
- Alandete, David (11 November 2017). "Russian network used Venezuelan accounts to deepen Catalan crisis". El País. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
- Cotovio, Vasco; Grinberg, Emanuella (13 November 2017). "Spain: 'Misinformation' on Catalonia vote came from Russia". CNN. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
- Emmott, Robin (13 November 2017). "Spain sees Russian interference in Catalonia separatist vote". Reuters. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
- "The Latest: Ex-Catalan president to lead party in election". The Washington Post. 15 November 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
- "Russia Calls Spain's Accusations It May Have Meddled In Catalonia Vote 'Hysteria'". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. November 16, 2017.