The Latest: Satirical campaign for Barcelona secession a hit



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MADRID (AP) — The Latest on the fallout from the independence movement in the Catalonia region of Spain (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

A mostly satirical campaign pushing for a sizeable chunk of Catalonia to declare its independence from the region but remain in Spain has become a social media success.

The internet campaign to establish the fictitious region of "Tabarnia" in the provinces of Barcelona and nearby Tarragona has drawn loads of comments following the divisive drive for independence led by the region's previous government.

Barcelona and nearby Tarragona are among the least pro-independence areas of Catalonia.

The mocking campaign uses slogans such as "Freedom for Tabarnia" and "Catalonia robs Tabarnia," imitating the ones supporters of Catalan secession used to promote breaking away from Spain.

The campaign, run by a group called Barcelona Is Not Catalonia, was front-page news in many Spanish papers on Wednesday and a top trending topic Tuesday on Twitter.

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10:50 a.m.

Spain's Interior Ministry says it is withdrawing thousands of police reinforcements who were deployed to its northeastern region of Catalonia in the run-up to an attempted referendum on the region's independence in October.

Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said late Tuesday the estimated 5,000 reinforcements are no longer necessary following the return to normalcy after Spain seized control of the restive region following a declaration of independence by the Catalan parliament weeks after the referendum.

Spain was criticized over police using force to try to prevent the referendum from taking place. Hundreds of people, including police, were reported injured.

Spain later dismissed the Catalan government, dissolved the regional parliament and ordered fresh elections for Dec. 21 to quell the secession push and restore legality.

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The Associated Press

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