Sunday, November 19, 2017 | ePaper

Thousands rally for Catalan independence from Spain

  • Print


Pro independence supporters wave "estelada" or pro independence flags during a rally in support for the secession of the Catalonia region from Spain, in Vitoria on Saturday.

Reuters, Madrid :
Hundreds of thousands of Catalans are expected to rally in the streets of Barcelona on Monday in what campaigners hope will be a show of support for independence after Madrid moved to block a planned referendum on the region's split from Spain.
The 'Diada' day of Sept. 11, which commemorates the fall of Barcelona to Spain in 1714, is often used by activists to voice their demands for an independent state. Coachloads of demonstrators travel to Barcelona from villages in the region.
Hostility between Madrid and Barcelona has ramped up since Spain's Constitutional Court last Thursday suspended the referendum, planned for Oct. 1, following a legal challenge by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
The government says the referendum contravenes the constitution, which states that Spain is indivisible.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has urged 'independentistas' to take to the streets on Monday in a massive show of support for the referendum.
"It's vital that we come out in force for this Diada for the Oct. 1 referendum to be successful," he said on Twitter. "I'll be there."
Spain's state prosecutor has begun criminal proceedings against Puigdemont and 13 members of his cabinet on charges of misuse of public money, disobedience and abuse of office after the Catalan parliament approved the referendum last Wednesday.
Rajoy has urged Catalan civil servants and mayors to uphold the law and to stop any preparations for the referendum over the next three weeks. However, around two-thirds of Catalonia's mayors have so far said they will allow the use of municipal facilities for the vote, with one mayor ripping up a court order warning of legal repercussions in front of a cheering crowd.
Puigdemont has said he has ballot boxes and voting papers hidden and ready to deploy at any moment. Over the weekend, police searched a printing press and the offices of a local newspaper for signs of preparation for the referendum.
At the height of pro-independence fervor in 2012, during a deep economic recession in Spain, around one million people took to the streets waving the Catalan flag and singing the Catalan anthem.
Polls have shown support for independence waning since then, and those wanting a separate state are in a minority. However, a majority of Catalans want to hold a referendum on the issue.
But the plan ran into trouble in June when Mr Puigdemont's coalition Government lost the support of the tiny anti-capitalist party CUP which has the hardest line on independence.
As a result it lost its clear majority in the assembly.
The pro-independence camp hopes the mass protest - on a day that marks the conquest of Barcelona by Spain's King Philip V in 1714 - will breathe new life into their campaign.

More News For this Category

German parties head into long weekend of coalition talks

German parties head into long weekend of coalition talks

Reuters, Berlin :Germany's would-be coalition partners continued talks on Friday after all-night negotiations failed to produce a breakthrough, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives saying they would compromise further on

Zimbabwe's ruling party to hold rally as anti-Mugabe tide rises

Zimbabwe's ruling party to hold rally as anti-Mugabe tide rises

Reuters, Harare :President Robert Mugabe's own ruling ZANU-PF party wants him to step down and plans to hold a rally in Zimbabwe's capital Harare on Saturday to make the

Elizabeth appoints 1st woman in 650 years to top job in Houses of Parliament

Xinhua, London :British Queen Elizabeth II approved Friday the appointment of Sarah Clarke as the new Black Rod in the House of Lords, a job held by 60 men

Syria toxic gas inquiry to end after Russia again blocks UN renewal

Syria toxic gas inquiry to end after Russia again blocks UN renewal

Reuters, United Nations :An international investigation into who is to blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria will end on Friday after Russia blocked for the third time in

UN climate envoys agree on way forward, ignoring Trump

UN climate envoys agree on way forward, ignoring Trump

AFP, Bonn :Negotiations to bolster the climate-saving Paris Agreement, crafted over two decades, closed in Bonn Saturday, deflated but not derailed by Donald Trump's rejection of the treaty and

News In Brief

Egypt opens Gaza border crossing for 3 daysAP, RafahGaza's border crossing into Egypt is running under the Palestinian Authority's control for the first time in a decade.Egypt opened the

Lebanon's PM arrives in Paris for talks with Macron

Lebanon's PM arrives in Paris for talks with Macron

Reuters, Paris :Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as Lebanon's prime minister this month while in Saudi Arabia, arrived in Paris on Saturday for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, a

Russia casts 10th UN veto on Syria action, blocking inquiry renewal

Russia casts 10th UN veto on Syria action, blocking inquiry renewal

Reuters, United Nations :Russia cast its 10th veto on Thursday of United Nations Security Council action on Syria since the war began in 2011, blocking a U.S.-drafted resolution to

Belgian judge weighs extradition bid for Catalan ex-leader

Belgian judge weighs extradition bid for Catalan ex-leader

AFP, Brussels :A Belgian court will on Friday consider whether to send axed Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont back to Spain to face charges of rebellion and sedition over his

Chinese envoy in North Korea amid chill in ties

AP, Pyongyang :The highest-level Chinese envoy to North Korea in two years arrived in the country's capital on Friday to try to improve relations that have soured over Beijing's