Spanish police raided government departments in Catalonia and arrested a local minister
Spanish police arrested Josep Maria Gave, the country's minister of state for economy, on Wednesday as part of a raid on regional government departments ahead of a referendum on independence that was not celebrated by the central authorities, sources in the Catalan government said.

The sources said that the Spanish police stormed the offices of the departments of economy, interior, foreign affairs, social affairs, communications and taxation in the region of Catalonia.

Josep Maria Gave
Tension between Catalonia and Madrid has been exacerbated in recent weeks as leaders of the northeast's northeast region are pressing ahead with the October 1 vote on independence from Spain, which the central government considers illegal.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais said the number of detainees was 14.

The Spanish Civil Guard confiscated more than 45,000 envelopes in cardboard boxes that the government of Catalonia intended to distribute to residents of the area to inform them of the referendum order.

The first batch of hundreds of Catalunya mayors who announced their support for the referendum was brought before the public prosecutor on Tuesday.

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