The Spanish government is nervous about the protest action which the massively-followed Catalan protest platform Democratic Tsunami has called for the the day before the country's general election on Sunday 10th November, according to the Reuters news service. The agency says it spoke to "two senior sources" close to the Madrid executive:
"We are very worried", is the comment one of these government sources made to Reuters, a person "with direct knowledge of the situation" who was "referring to Democratic Tsunami's call and the impact it could have on the election."
Headlining that the Spanish authorities are "ready for election eve protests" on 9th November, Reuters explains that in Spain, election campaigning is not allowed on the day before an election. Reuters suggests that the views of its sources back the view given by Madrid's El Mundo which asserts that authorities are preparing to send police to block the entrance to polling stations on Friday 8th November or even earlier (link in Spanish).
Reuters also recalls that since the Spanish Supreme Court's announcement on 14th October of long jail sentences for nine Catalan pro-independence leaders, protests have taken place around Catalonia, and that in some cases they have "turned violent". The agency recognizes that the latest protests have been peaceful, but it also quotes a senior source in the Spanish Socialist party as saying that the Spanish police "suspects that some groups are planning militant actions for November 9th."
Police duty to act
Meanwhile, Spain's acting justice minister, Dolores Delgado, has also raised the spectre of Catalan protests affecting the elections. During a visit to the Catalan city of Tarragona on Saturday, Delgado called for people to remain calm so that the so-called "day of reflection" before going to the poll "is not distorted or disturbed", adding that any attempt to do so would be an offence. The police bodies had the duty to act to "prevent criminal acts from being carried out," she said, in the same way as in recent days police had acted "reasonably, reliably and proportionately."