National day celebrated amid secession crisis
MADRID » Thousands of Catalans who want their region to remain in Spain marked the country’s national day Thursday, marching through Barcelona waving both Spanish and Catalan flags and shouting “I am Spanish,” as the region’s threats of independence have left the country in crisis.
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 sidewalk of Madrid’s Paseo de la Castellana avenue for the military parade.
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 colors of both the Spanish and Catalan flags.