BARCELONA - – Barcelona metro stations have been closed, pickets blocked main roads & civil servants walked out on Tues. in response to a strike referred to as by pro-independence groups after a whole lot have been injured in a Spanish cops officers crackdown on a banned independence referendum.
The stoppages, initially billed as a region-wide general strike still disavowed by the countryâ€™s biggest unions, affected the general public sector, public transport & primary services.
Usually busy metro stations in Barcelona have been abandoned as services have been cut back sharply, pickets blocked traffic on Gran Via street & traffic on six major highways within the region was disrupted by protests.
Elsewhere, the response to the strike call was patchy with some outlets, supermarkets & cafes open and a few closed. The- Boqueria market in Barcelona was virtually empty.
Professional-independence groups & trade unions in Catalonia referred to as a general strike for Tues. after Spanish cops officers forcibly tried to close polling stations on Sun. after a referendum on Catalan independence from Spain was banned by the constitutional courtroom.
Scenes of armored Spanish cops officers swinging truncheons & firing rubber bullets at peaceful voters have been extensively condemned, with the European Union calling for talks to break the stalemate between Madrid & Barcelona.
On Sun., Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy stated the ballot had failed, while Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont vowed to continue with the independence process after hundreds of thousands voted to go away.
Spainâ€™s two biggest unions on Mon. stated they wouldn’t participate within the general strike and in addition referred to as for conversation between the central authorities & Catalonia, criticizing both the call for independence & the heavy-handed cops officers techniques.
â€œThe UGT & the CCOO clearly state in that we don’t back this position or this political strategy. We aren’t calling a general strike for Oct. three,â€� they stated on Mon..
Nevertheless, many services under the control of the Catalan authorities did see some stoppages, with public transport running at around 40 %, in accordance to reports, while port staff & civil servants additionally walked out.
Entrances to some authorities offices have been blocked by crowds protesting in favor of independence.
Further reporting by Robert Hetz; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Janet Lawrence