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National holiday: Tens of thousands attend demonstration for Catalonia’s independence

National holiday: Tens of thousands attend demonstration for Catalonia’s independence

The national holiday “Diada” is seen as a measure of the strength of the independence movement. The separatist parties now play a major role as kingmakers in Spanish politics.

Tens of thousands in Catalonia called for the independence of the region in northeastern Spain on the occasion of the “Diada” national holiday. After a march, demonstrators gathered in the evening on the Plaça d’Espanya in the center of Barcelona, ​​as a reporter from the German Press Agency reported.

They chanted slogans such as “Independence, Freedom.” Catalan regional government leader Pere Aragonès said shortly before the rally that the opportunity presented by the sudden importance of the Catalan parties in forming a new Spanish government should not be missed.

The organizers of the demonstration, the ANC civil movement, spoke of around 800,000 participants in the evening. The police had spoken of around 115,000 demonstrators early in the evening. At first it was not possible to clarify why the estimates were so different.

The “Diada”, which always commemorates the loss of self-government in 1714 on September 11th, is seen every year as a measure of the strength of the independence movement. This year, the demonstration has been watched with particular attention across Spain, as Catalonia’s separatist parties are suddenly playing a major role as kingmakers in Spanish politics, six years after the fall of 2017’s attempted secession was defeated.

The two Catalan separatist parties in the Madrid parliament will decide in the next few weeks whether the acting head of government, Pedro Sánchez, can continue to govern or whether there will have to be a new election.

No majority without the votes of the Catalans

Because without the votes of the Catalans, Sánchez’s Socialists (PSOE) would not have a majority. First, however, opposition leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo from the conservative People’s Party (PP), who received the most votes in the election on July 23rd, has until September 27th to forge a government alliance. However, he is only given slim chances. Sánchez would then have to negotiate with the left-wing nationalist ERC of Aragonès and, above all, with the Junts party of the Belgium-based separatist leader Carles Puigdemont. The Junts, who are less willing to compromise, have so far called for, among other things, an independence referendum, which is considered unacceptable in Spain.

Source: Stern

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