We Biafrans look forward to this…
Hundreds of thousands of people have staged a rally in Barcelona to show support for Catalonia’s separation from Spain in the upcoming independence referendum.
An estimated 400,000 Catalans from all walks of life marched through central Barcelona on Monday, waving red, yellow and blue separatist flags in a show of strength three weeks ahead of a breakaway referendum declared as “illegal” by Madrid.
The rally coincided with Catalonia’s national day, which commemorates the fall of Barcelona to Spain in 1714 and is traditionally used by pro-independence activists to call for secession.
“If there is huge mobilization, they can’t do anything in Madrid,” says Jordi Calatayud, a 21-year-old economics student attending the rally. “Catalan people will make independence possible, if there are a lot of us, they can’t stop us.”
“We hope that we will be able to hold the referendum with total normality, because in a democracy it is normal to be able to vote,” another participant said. “If the people want it to happen, it will go ahead.”
Catalonia, a region of 7.5 million people with its own language and culture that accounts for about one-fifth of Spain’s economic output, has significant powers over matters such as education, healthcare and welfare.
But Spain’s economic doldrums and a perception that the region pays more in taxes than it receives in investments and transfers from Madrid have helped push the cause of secession from the fringes of Catalan politics to center-stage.
Recent polls by the regional government suggest that those opposing independence outnumber the supporters by a low margin. However, local authorities say Catalans would decide on the issue once and for all in the upcoming referendum.
Categories: Igbo news