One million march in Barcelona for Catalan independence
Around one million people filled Barcelona’s streets Monday evening, according to local police, to mark the celebration of the region’s annual holiday and to demonstrate their support for Catalonia’s independence from Spain, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
With less than three weeks until a proposed referendum on independence in the northeastern region of Spain, which is illegal according to the Spanish government and law, pro-independence organizers rallied one of the biggest crowds to date to the yearly celebration.
“These celebrations show the world how we want to approach the [referendum] situation -- in a massive, pacific [...] way,” said Carles Puigdemont, the president of Catalonia who has vowed to hold a referendum on Oct. 1, despite Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy promising that it “will not happen”.
La Diada, a holiday commemorating Catalonia's surrender to Spain in 1714, has been used by separatist organizers in recent years as an opportunity to stage protests demanding independence.
The massive mobilizations were criticized by opposition leaders such as Ines Arrimadas, Catalan leader of the pro-unity Ciudadanos Party, who said at a political rally on Monday: “In Catalonia, the majority of us who are not separatists are expelled from a holiday that should be for everyone.”
Recent polls suggest that the population of Catalonia is split on independence. A poll conducted in September for El Espanol suggests 50 percent of Catalans were in favor of independence, but a survey conducted by a Catalan government body CEO in late July found only 41.1 percent supported a unilateral break-away from Spain.
Monday’s march comes amid an increasingly tense showdown between Barcelona and Madrid. The Catalan parliament has just passed two bills, one outlining the referendum process and the other describing what would happen in the case of a “yes” vote to independence. The latter includes a unilateral declaration of independence within two days after the vote.
The Spanish government has officially challenged both laws. The Constitutional Court has suspended the first and is expected to suspend the second law on Tuesday.
Related news releases
- 22.02.2018Merkel ally blasts foreign minister for questioning NATO target
- 22.02.2018Germany backs resolution of Macedonia name row: Merkel
- 21.02.2018Britain wants to discuss length of Brexit transition with EU
- 21.02.2018Macron plans tighter asylum rules in test of parliamentary majority
- 20.02.2018Turkey will eradicate FETO all over world, Erdogan says
- 20.02.2018Northern Ireland Facing Epidemic of Suicide
- 20.02.2018U.S. attaches great importance to stability in region – Georgian PM
- 20.02.2018Turkish army to lay siege to Afrin city center soon: Erdogan
- 20.02.2018Turkey remands 13 for promoting PKK/KCK on social media
- 20.02.2018Turkish, Russian, Iranian FMs to meet in 2 weeks
- 20.02.2018Turkey warns against pro-Syria regime militia in Afrin
- 19.02.2018Turkish, Iranian leaders discuss Syria on phone
- 19.02.2018Ankara renames US embassy's street after Operation Olive Branch
- 19.02.2018Turkey warns Assad regime against supporting YPG/PKK
- 18.02.2018Armenian President suggests normalizing relations with Turkey through a new document
- 18.02.2018Latvian Central Bank Governor detained in corruption probe
- 18.02.2018Small earthquake hits Britain, strongest for 10 years
- 18.02.2018Thousands rally against Munich Security Conference in Germany
- 17.02.2018Sweden grants citizenship to scientist sentenced to death in Iran
- 17.02.2018Blast at Agricultural Plant in Northern France Leaves 2 Killed
- 17.02.2018Georgian, Turkish PMs discuss regional transport projects
- 17.02.2018Moldova to host summit of GUAM prime ministers
- 17.02.2018Lavrov: Russia Ready for partnership with EU, US based on mutual respect
- 17.02.2018Turkey, US joint statement alludes to YPG terror group
- 16.02.2018Uncertainty reigns in final polls ahead of Italy election
- 16.02.2018Tillerson: US will 'work on' its Manbij promises given to Turkey
- 16.02.2018Tillerson: 'US, Turkey will act together'
- 16.02.2018Two killed in Turkish military training plane crash
- 16.02.2018UK Business leaders propose partial customs union with EU
- 16.02.2018PM Yildirim sends condolences to US Vice President
- 16.02.2018Turkish president, US secretary of state meet for 3 hours and 15 minutes in Ankara - UPDATED
- 15.02.201822 families evacuated after huge sinkhole opens up in Rome
- 15.02.2018Turkey, Germany vow to improve strained ties
- 15.02.2018U.S. State Secretary arrives in Turkey
- 15.02.2018Leading Swiss rail company to construct carriage-building and repair plant in Tbilisi
- 15.02.2018Turkey’s opposition leader Kilicdaroglu hospitalized
- 15.02.2018NATO to modernize command structure
- 14.02.2018Turkish defense min. meets US counterpart in Brussels
- 14.02.2018France will strike Syria if chemical weapons use proven
- 14.02.2018Saakashvili promises more protests in Ukraine
- 12.09.2017Macron's labour reforms face protests across France
- 12.09.2017Erdogan comments on allegations on his talk with Assad
- 13.09.2017Juncker: No new member in EU by 2019
- 12.09.2017Norway's right-wing government seems set for re-election-projections
- 11.09.2017US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State visits Georgia
- 11.09.2017Georgian foreign minister to visit Armenia