Trump says Spain should stay united, opposes secession vote

Madrid and Barcelona clash over control of the Catalonia police force

For its part the Catalan regional government said the vote will go ahead and it sent out notifications to Catalans to man polling booths.

Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will miss an European Union summit in order to deal with the referendum, a government source said.

Spanish authorities have done enough to discredit and prevent a planned referendum this Sunday on independence in Catalonia, two senior government officials told Reuters on Monday, though they may now let a secession "party" happen.

Enric Millo, the Spanish government's representative in Barcelona, said Catalan President Carles Puigdemont is set to be ousted if the separatist movement goes ahead with an illegal referendum on independence this weekend.

"I bet you if you had accurate numbers and accurate polling, you'd find that they love their country, they love Spain and they wouldn't leave, so I'm just for a united Spain", Trump said. Numerous searches were also held in a number of governmental institutions, including Catalonia's government.

Polls show Catalans are split on the issue of independence, but a large majority want to vote in a legitimate referendum to settle the matter. What is clear is that even if the vote was taken and did result in a call for independence, Catalonia would not be recognized by any other state.

They refused to move as the day wore on, further angered by an announcement by the interior ministry that police had seized "close to 10 million ballot papers" destined for the October 1 vote deemed illegal by the central government.

President Trump welcomes Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy outside the West Wing of the White House on September 26.

However, the Catalan government maintained on Tuesday that the vote would still take place.

Many had not yet received information about where or when they would be working after the state-run postal service was told to stop all mail related to the vote, Marta Rovira said in a radio interview.

Trump also offered prayers and support to those affected by deadly attacks last month that killed 16 people in Barcelona and a nearby town.

The Catalan government says it will unilaterally declare independence within 48 hours of a "yes" vote.

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