Thousands march for Catalan secession from Spain
Growing separatist fervor in Catalonia is boosted by Scotland's independence movement.

Hundreds of thousands of pro -independence Catalans have taken to the streets of Barcelona to demandindependence from Spain.

As many as 1.8 million swarmed into the city’s two main avenues on Thursday, forming a letter V for victory and vote when they met.

Demonstrators waved yellow and red Catalan flags, sang marching songs and raised banners declaring "We want to vote."

Thursday marked the 300th anniversary of the fall of Barcelona to Bourbon forces loyal to Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession. Barcelona football club will wear yellow and red strip when they play on Saturday to mark the occasion, further raising separatist emotions.

Analysts believe the growing separatist sentiment in Catalonia is partly fuelled by the Scottish independence referendum, due on September 18.

Artur Mas, head of the autonomous Catalan regional government, told reporters that Catalonia was ready to hold a self-rule referendum on November 9.

Accusing Madrid of "doing nothing" and "posing legal obstacles to the most important problem of the state instead of generating solutions," Mas said his administration was determined to hold the election.

The Spanish government, however, says the poll will be considered illegal and cannot be permitted.

Barcelona city police said 1.8 million people attended the rally while the Spanish government claimed 500,000 were present.

Last Modified: 2014-09-12 09:29:59
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