Catalans stage protest to break away from Spain

Sep 12, 2016, 8:10 AM EDT
Catalans protest in 2006
(Source: Paco Rivière/flickr)

Hundreds of thousands of Catalans took to streets in Barcelona and four other cities on the region’s national day on Sunday, demanding Catalan independence from Spain. Catalonia’s secessionist parties, which approved a plan to achieve independence by mid-2017, have failed to make any headway owing to their ideological differences.

This is for the fifth consecutive year that Catalans staged pro-independence protest in Barcelona but unlike earlier campaigns, this year’s demonstrations were organized in four other cities in Catalonia, writes The New York Times.  

Anti-independence parties in Catalonia say that dispersing the protest in five cities is a strategic move to hide the waning support for the independence movement, reports The Guardian.

Addressing the reporters, the president of the Catalan regional government, Carles Puigdemont, said that Catalonia, which houses 7.5 million people with its own language and customs, would have its own legal structures in place by its national day next September.

Limitations on Catalonia’s autonomy and Spain’s recent economic downslide that overburdened Catalans with hefty taxes to subsidize poorer regions have developed a sense of disillusionment, alienating the region from Madrid’s central leadership, notes ABC News.