MEPs from the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) are extremely concerned with the events that have taken place in Catalonia in recent days, particularly, the arrests this morning of 14 high ranking Catalan officials.

This is just the latest in a series of increasingly repressive measures by the Spanish government designed to prevent the independence referendum organised for October 1.

Spanish authorities have seized control of the Catalan government's finances, confiscated 1.5 million posters for the referendum and threatened more than 700 local mayors with legal action for offering council premises to hold the referendum.

Whatever our opinion of Catalan independence or the October 1 referendum, this does not justify the use of force, repression and fear. The Catalan people must be allowed to democratically decide their future.

GUE/NGL condemns this morning's detentions by the Spanish Guardia Civil and calls upon the Spanish government to end its policy of repression against Catalan society. This is unacceptable in any democratic country.

GUE/NGL also calls on the EU institutions to protect the fundamental rights of the Catalan people as European citizens and not be indifferent to the events happening in Catalonia.

GUE/NGL stands in solidarity with the people of Catalonia and asks for a peaceful democratic resolution to the current situation.

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