Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has responded to every Catalan move towards this referendum with block-headed predictability, perfectly fitting the script set out for him by the ‘Govern’ in Barcelona. Photograph: JJ Guillen/EPA

Whatever happens next in Catalonia, the Catalan nationalists’ independence referendum campaign had already proved a significant success, from their ow(...)

A man faces off with a Spanish Civil Guard officer outside a polling station for the Catalan independence referendum in Sant Julià de Ramis, Spain. Photograph: Reuters/Albert Gea

Spain’s relationship with Catalonia was stretched to breaking point on Sunday, as the central government’s attempts to prevent a controversial indepen(...)

 A Catalan man with his child in his arms argues with a Spanish National riot policemen during clashes outside the Ramon Llull school in Barcelona. Photograph: Andreu Dalmau/EPA

Pepa Mainou was the first person to vote in L’Arenal de Llevant school on Sunday morning. She, like dozens of others, had queued outside the building,(...)

Anti-separatist demonstrators gather and wave Spanish flags during a rally against the Catalonian referendum at Placa Sant Jaume in Barcelona, Spain, on Saturday. Photograph: Geraldine Hope Ghelli/Bloomberg

Thousands of pro-unity demonstrators opposing a banned referendum on Catalan independence from Spain gathered in a Barcelona square on Saturday in a s(...)

A man holds a dummy ballot before participating in a symbolic vote organised two days before a banned independence referendum in Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia. Photograph: Reuters/Rafael Marchante

The referendum on independence planned by the nationalist Catalan government for this Sunday is the culmination of decades, some would say centuries, (...)

Catalan independence supporters gather at the Montjuich fountains in Barcelona on Friday ahead of Sunday’s planned referendum. Photograph: Felipe Dana/AP

A controversial referendum on Catalan independence which has plunged Spain into its deepest political crisis for decades is scheduled for this Sunday,(...)

Students  demonstrate against the position of the Spanish government to ban the self-determination referendum, in Barcelona. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Thousands of students took to the streets of Barcelona and other cities in Catalonia on Thursday to demand the right to vote in the referendum on inde(...)

Ken McCarthy, from Co Mayo, outside McCarthy’s Bar in Barcelona.  “If they declare independence [unilaterally], they’re a rogue state and you can’t trade with them.”

As he calmly sips a pint of lager at the bar of the pub he owns in central Barcelona, Ken McCarthy hardly looks like a man who is worried about the fu(...)

There has  been speculation that Catalan president Carles Puigdemont (right) might issue a unilateral declaration of independence. Photograph: EPA/Quique Garcia

Catalonia’s police have been ordered to cordon off schools in the region believed to have been earmarked for voting stations for Sunday’s independence(...)

Dolores Agenjo: “There is a fear, a fear of being identified, of being on a blacklist.”

Dolores Agenjo takes out her phone and hurriedly swipes through it. Eager to make a point, the retired head teacher finds the message she was looking (...)

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