View Full Version : Morning mail: thousands march to keep Spain united

10-10-2017, 06:46 PM
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Barcelona to protest against the Catalan government’s decision to push for independence. Sunday’s rally came a week after the independence referendum that has plunged Spain into its worst political crisis in four decades. Societat Civil Catalana – the region’s main pro-unity organisation – said more than one million people had taken part, but Barcelona police put the turnout at 350,000. According to the Catalan government, 90% of participants voted for independence in the referendum, 7.8% voted against and almost 2% of ballot papers were left blank. However more than 50% of Catalans did not take part.

The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, is under growing pressure to stop short of declaring independence, as Spain’s prime minister warned that he was prepared to suspend the region’s autonomy to stop it splitting from the rest of the country. On Saturday there were demonstrations all over the country, with tens of thousands gathering in Madrid’s Plaza Colón in favour of a united Spain. In dozens of towns and cities, including Barcelona, people joined the “white demonstrations” demanding dialogue.