A protestor holds up a sign in front of a Catalan police outside the Catalan region's foreign affairs ministry building during a raid by Spanish police on government offices, in Barcelona, Spain, September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera
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Spanish police raided Catalan government offices and arrested officials Wednesday to halt a banned referendum on independence, an action the regional president said meant Madrid had effectively taken over his administration.State police arrested Catalonia's junior economy minister Josep Maria Jove Wednesday, in their first raid of government offices in the region, Catalan government sources said.A dozen high-ranking local officials were arrested, La Vanguardia newspaper said. Police confirmed they were carrying out raids connected with the banned referendum, but did not give details. It had on Tuesday seized more than 45,000 envelopes packed in cardboard boxes that the Catalan government was ready to send to notify people about the referendum, while the first of hundreds of Catalan mayors appeared before the state prosecutor after they said they would back the referendum.
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