BARCELONA RIOTS: Catalan police armed with batons clash with independence protesters

Police armed with riot shields and batons clashed with separatist protesters in Barcelona this morning.

Monday will mark one year since the banned independence referendum in Catalonia which sparked a huge police crackdown and plunged Spain into its worst political crisis in decades. 

Elsewhere in the city hundreds of people staged a sit-in during a planned occupation of Sant Jaume square in front of the Catalan regional government headquarters. 

The protests come as amid simmering political tensions in Catalonia and huge government debt.

The Bank of Spain revised down its estimates for growth between 2018 and 2020.

Spanish newspaper 20 minutos reports economists at the bank predict the country’s economy will now grow at 2.6 percent this year, one tenth less than originally thought.

The bank said a flare up of political tensions in Catalonia could threaten political growth.

This is a breaking story. More to follow…