Pulse.com.gh logo
Go


Catalans march for unity on Spain's national day

Organisers said some 300,000 people took part in the demonstration. Municipal police put turnout at 65,000 people.

  • Published:
People wave Spanish and Catalan flags at an anti-separatist rally on Spanish national day in Barcelona where they demanded "the unity of Spain and Catalan society which is more and more divided" play

People wave Spanish and Catalan flags at an anti-separatist rally on Spanish national day in Barcelona where they demanded "the unity of Spain and Catalan society which is more and more divided"

(AFP)

Tens of housands of Catalans who want their region to remain part of Spain marked national day Friday, marching through Barcelona in protest against leaders who brought the region to the brink of independence last year.

Waving both Spanish and Catalan flags and cheering Spain's king, the demonstrators made their way along the elegant Passeig de Gracia, home to some of the city's most luxurious hotels, to the central Placa de Catalunya square.

Organisers said some 300,000 people took part in the demonstration. Municipal police put turnout at 65,000 people.

"It is not so much about asserting of feelings of being Spanish. We came to demand unity, the unity of Spain and Catalan society which is more and more divided," Cristian Rodriguez, a 21-year-old student, told AFP.

Polls and recent elections show the Catalonia's 7.5 million residents are roughly equally divided by the secession question.

While supporters of independence have staged massive rallies in recent years, those who want the wealthy northeastern region to remain a part of Spain have remained largely silent.

But that changed after Catalonia's regional government in October 2017 pressed ahead with a banned referendum on secession and the regional parliament then declared the region's independence to no effect.

Spain's central government responded by sacking the region's government, led at the time by Carles Puigdemont, dissolving its parliament and calling early regional elections.

Sixteen Catalan separatist leaders, including Puigdemont who is in self-imposed exile in Belgium, are facing trial over their role in the separatist push. The trial is expected to start in early 2019.

"I ask that the judges who will have to issue sentences soon not be intimidated," said Javier Megino, the vice president of the group which organised the demonstration, "Spain and Catalonia", in an address to the crowd.

"Puigdemont to prison," the crowd chanted in response.

Puigdemont was replaced by Quim Torra as Catalonia president following snap polls in the region in December 2017 which saw separatist parties once again win an absolute majority in the regional parliament.

Torra's government is divided between those who back disobedience to advance the cause of independence and those who favour dialogue with new Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

In power since June, Sanchez has taken a softer line on Catalonia then his conservative predecessor -- a stance which many at the demonstration criticised.

Esther, a 63-year-old pensioner who declined to give her last name, said the central government was making concessions to the Catalan government which was "giving wings to the separatists".

October 12 is known as Dia de la Hispanidad, or Hispanic Day, and celebrates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World. The day was declared Spain's national day in 1987.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233507713497, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos




Top Articles

1 European women visiting Africa solely for sexual pleasurebullet
2 China to launch fake ‘moon’ into space to replace street lightsbullet
3 55 dead after market row in northern Nigeria: presidencybullet
4 Thousands of Central American migrants stranded on Mexican borderbullet
5 Colombian military copter crashes, killing 4: officialsbullet
6 Trump says US will pull out of nuclear deal with Russiabullet
7 Mexico allows caravan women, children in, but thousands...bullet
8 Deadline looms for Italy to ease EU budget concernsbullet
9 Pregnant Meghan takes break from Australia royal tourbullet
10 22 dead after train flips in Taiwanbullet

Top Videos

1 Shithole Comment US lawmakers wear Ghana's 'kente' to protest Trump’s...bullet
2 Sex Robot Meet Solana, a sex robot with removable face and changeable moodbullet
3 Super Surprising Saddam Hussein wrote a romantic novel and it's on...bullet
4 Video Ghanaian Harvard student openly ‘assaulted’ by Policebullet

World

X
Advertisement