Catalonia's mayors caught in referendum crossfire

The tense situation is but one illustration of the passions raised by the drive for independence in a region that remains sharply divided over whether it wants to separate from Spain.

Catalonia's mayors caught in referendum crossfire

World Bulletin / News Desk

Whether they have come out as supporters or opponents of an independence referendum banned by Madrid, Catalan mayors are all under pressure and some even say they have received death threats.

On Saturday, more than 700 pro-referendum mayors protested in Barcelona, brandishing their maces and singing the official hymn of the northeastern region, whose separatist executive is preparing to hold a referendum on October 1.

Resolute and calm, they made light of the risks they are taking after Spain's public prosecutor ordered a criminal probe and threatened to arrest them if they refuse to comply with Madrid's order not to hold a vote deemed unconstitutional.

Supporters also took part, shouting "we are with you," and Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau and Catalan President Carles Puigdemont met them.

"I'm not protesting in support of independence but in support of voting," said Josep Sole, the 74-year-old mayor of La Maso, a small 300-strong village in southern Catalonia.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Eylül 2017, 13:46