Thousands march in right-wing rally
Tens of thousands of people joined a right-wing rally in Spain’s capital Sunday to demand that Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez step down for his handling of the Catalonia region’s secession crisis. Many in the crowd assembled in Madrid’s Plaza de Colon waved the national flag and chanted slogans in support of Spain’s security forces along with calling for the Socialist prime minister’s resignation. The conservative opposition Popular Party and the centerright Citizens party organized the rally, which the upstart far-right Vox party and other far-right parties backed. The political tensions come as a highly sensitive trial at Spain’s Supreme Court starts Tuesday for 12 Catalan separatists who face charges, including rebellion, for their roles in a failed secession attempt in 2017. Sanchez inherited the Catalan conflict from former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the then-leader of the Popular Party. Rajoy proved incapable of stopping support for secession from swelling in Catalonia to roughly half of the northeastern region’s voters. Speaking at a Socialist party event in northern Spain, Sanchez reminded his political opponents that when he was an opposition leader, he stood by Rajoy on the situation in Catalonia even after separatist regional officials staged an Oct. 2017 independence referendum in defiance of Spanish courts.
Thousands of Spaniards joined a rally in Madrid that called for Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to step down.