Pro-Spain Cata­lans in march through streets of Barcelona

Pol­i­tics: Madrid awaits clar­i­fi­ca­tion on whether in­de­pen­dence de­clared

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - WORLD NEWS - BY CIARAN GILES

Thou­sands of Cata­lans who want their re­gion to re­main in Spain marked the coun­try’s na­tional day yes­ter­day, march­ing through Barcelona waving both Spanish and Cata­lan flags and shout­ing “I am Spanish”.

Mean­while, in the na­tional cap­i­tal Madrid, troops and po­lice pa­raded in front of King Felipe VI, ac­com­pa­nied by na­tional and re­gional politi­cians.

Thou­sands of peo­ple waving Spanish flags lined the pave­ment of Madrid’s

“The slo­gan of the march was Cat­alo­nia yes. Spain, too”

Paseo de la Castel­lana av­enue for the mil­i­tary pa­rade amid cri­sis in Spain over Cat­alo­nia’s vote for in­de­pen­dence in a ref­er­en­dum con­sid­ered il­le­gal by na­tional au­thor­i­ties.

Spain is wait­ing for a re­sponse to a govern­ment re­quest to Cat­alo­nia’s leader to clar­ify by Mon­day if he has al­ready de­clared in­de­pen­dence.

If so, Spain warns it may ap­ply Ar­ti­cle 155 of its Con­sti­tu­tion and be­gin tak­ing full or par­tial con­trol of the re­gion.

In Barcelona, Cat­alo­nia’s cap­i­tal, thou­sands of peo­ple waving Spanish and Cata­lan flags marched to a cen­tral square, some with their faces in the red and yel­low colours of both the Spanish and Cata­lan flags and shout­ing “Viva Es­pana”, or long live Spain.

The slo­gan of the march was “Cat­alo­nia yes. Spain, too”, sup­port­ing au­ton­omy for Cat­alo­nia, but within Spain as a whole.

The pro­test­ers booed when pass­ing groups of re­gional po­lice, who are seen by the union­ists as hav­ing done too lit­tle to stop sep­a­ratist ef­forts to stage an in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum on Oc­to­ber 1.

Cata­lan re­gional pres­i­dent Car­les Puigde­mont an­nounced on Tues­day that he was us­ing the claimed vic­tory in the banned ref­er­en­dum to pro­ceed with a dec­la­ra­tion of Cata­lan in­de­pen­dence, but pro­posed freez­ing its im­ple­men­ta­tion for a few weeks to al­low for di­a­logue and me­di­a­tion with the na­tional govern­ment in Madrid.

Speak­ing in the na­tional par­lia­ment on Wed­nes­day, Spain’s prime min­is­ter Mar­i­ano Ra­joy said Mr Puigde­mont’s re­sponse to the ul­ti­ma­tum to clar­ify his ac­tions would be cru­cial in de­cid­ing “events over the com­ing days”.

In a tweet later, Mr Puigde­mont re­acted: “We de­mand di­a­logue and the re­sponse is to put ar­ti­cle 155 on the ta­ble. Mes­sage un­der­stood.”

Mr Puigde­mont’s deputy, Cata­lan vice pres­i­dent Oriol Jun­queras, also tweeted: “A sin­cere di­a­logue is what the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity wants and what Cat­alo­nia ex­pects, not con­fronta­tion and new threats.”

TO­GETH­ER­NESS: Thou­sands of Pro-Spain Cata­lans march through Barcelona on na­tional day shout­ing Viva Es­pana, or long live Spain

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.