Thou­sands march in right-wing rally

Tampa Bay Times - - Nation & World -

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.

As­so­ci­ated Press

Thou­sands of Spaniards joined a rally in Madrid that called for So­cial­ist Prime Min­is­ter Pe­dro Sanchez to step down.

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