Hundreds rally in Madrid, urge jailing of deposed Catalan chief

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“Jail for Puigdemont,” shouted 1000’s of individuals in central Madrid, gathered underneath an enormous Spanish flag Saturday in anger at Catalonia’s unilateral declaration of independence underneath secessionist chief Carles Puigdemont.

As music blared from large audio system — from British band Coldplay to Spanish singer Manolo Escobar’s “Y viva Espana” (“And lengthy stay Spain” in Spanish) — pro-unity protesters banded collectively on the sq..

Sad with Catalonia’s secession bid, many additionally directed anger at Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whom they accuse of getting been too gentle on the area’s separatist leaders.

“It’s a shame what occurred in Catalonia, and it is a shame what occurred after,” stated Carlos Fernandez, a 41-year-old mining engineer.

On Friday, the Catalan parliament declared unilateral independence.

Rajoy replied by axing Puigdemont and his govt, dissolving parliament, and calling snap December 21 regional elections to quash what he termed an “escalation of disobedience.”

“Nothing goes to alter in two months,” stated Fernandez of Rajoy’s intervention, “it is simply prolonging the issue.”

Sitting on a concrete ledge clutching a big purple and yellow nationwide flag, he stated he was disenchanted on the low pro-unity turnout.

“It is due to what the federal government stated yesterday, many individuals assume that it is all solved,” he stated.

Speeches started at noon.

“As we speak, we now have all come to exhibit our unity, to proclaim that we’ll get Catalonia again,” one presenter informed the gang.

To cheers and shouts of “jail for Puigdemont,” she added: “We cannot cease till we see them in jail.”

Spanish prosecutors have introduced they’ll subsequent week file expenses of “rise up” towards Puigdemont — against the law punishable by as much as 30 years in jail.

Close to the sq., a big banner proclaiming: “Spain would not give up” hung from a constructing occupied by the far-right, xenophobic group Hogar Social.

Folks leant out of home windows and cheered as dozens of protesters holding flags of the Spanish Legion, a military unit, and the small, far-right occasion Nationwide Democracy marched up, flanked by police.

Again on the sq., Jorge Marin, a 38-year-old engineer, stated: “Ultimately, that is going to come back to nothing.”

“The Catalans aren’t critical, and we’re not critical, as a result of they’re probably not getting independence, and we’re not going to place them in jail for what they’re doing.”

by Marianne BARRIAUX

© 2017 AFP

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