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With Scottish eyes and hearts, Catalonians pack the streets of Barcelona

Friday, September 12th 2014 - 04:17 UTC
Full article 32 comments
More than half a million Catalans took to the streets dressed in red and yellow, the colors of the Catalan flag and forming a “V” for “vote” More than half a million Catalans took to the streets dressed in red and yellow, the colors of the Catalan flag and forming a “V” for “vote”
The government of Mariano Rajoy says the vote is illegal and cannot go ahead and the issue is deeply entrenched, pitting Catalunya against the rest of Spain. The government of Mariano Rajoy says the vote is illegal and cannot go ahead and the issue is deeply entrenched, pitting Catalunya against the rest of Spain.

Hundreds of thousands of Catalans packed the streets of Barcelona on Thursday to demand the right to vote on a potential split from Spain, their ambitions boosted by an independence referendum scheduled for next week in Scotland.

More than half a million Catalans signed up to take part, organizers said. They dressed in red and yellow, the colors of the Catalan flag, forming a “V” for “vote” in a show of support for holding a referendum.

In a festive atmosphere on Catalunya's national day, La Diada, people stood side by side along two of Barcelona's main arteries to form a huge “V”, with the red-and-yellow stripes of the Catalan regional flag, La Senyera, clearly visible from aerial footage.

Many wore T-shirts saying “Ara es l'hora” (“Now is the time”) in the Catalan language. Barcelona police estimated that as many as 1.8 million took part.

”We want a say in politics and our future. We've won back our sovereignty (by getting independence on the political agenda) and realized the strength we have, if we mobilize, to change things,” said Carme Forcadell, head of the National Catalan Assembly (ANC), one of the organizers of the event.

The Catalan regional government, which like other Spanish regions has a large degree of autonomy, has called a non-binding referendum on Nov. 9 over whether Catalonia should become a separate state.

The Madrid government says the vote is illegal and cannot go ahead and the issue is deeply entrenched, pitting Catalunya against the rest of Spain.

Polls show that 80 percent of Catalans want to vote on the issue.

Catalunya's campaign has drawn momentum from the upcoming referendum on whether Scotland should split from the United Kingdom, support for which has gained ground recently to make it a close call.

The government in London opposes Scottish independence, but says it will abide by whatever the voters decide.

The price of Spanish government bonds has been falling as edgy investors trim their holdings before Scotland's vote, where a victory for the nationalists would no doubt fuel Catalunya's demands.

 

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Vulcanbomber

    as much as I dont want scotland to split, I honour their right to split.

    This should be allowed to Catalonia and indeed Bavaria

    Let the people decide, but they should be given facts not lies spun out of hatred and one side should not decide whoo can vote to try and swing it more in their favour

    Sep 12th, 2014 - 06:36 am 0
  • Conqueror

    It's important to remember that Catalonia was actually stolen by the spanish. Read the history. Free Catalonia!

    Sep 12th, 2014 - 11:23 am 0
  • Briton

    In that case, Spain should return it.

    Sep 12th, 2014 - 11:30 am 0
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