World Sea of flags as Spain marks national day amid Catalan crisis

03:05  13 october  2017
03:05  13 october  2017 Source:   AFP

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  Catalonia prepares for regional strike The walk-out is in response to "the grave violation of rights" during Sunday's vote, say unions.The strikes was called by Catalan trade unions and associations due to "the grave violation of rights and freedoms" seen during Sunday's ballot.

© AFP / by Daniel SILVA | Spanish flags were proudly unfurled at a military parade in Madrid, as the political crisis with Catalan continues. While there have always been Spanish flags at the annual parade on Spain 's national day , which commemorates Christopher Columbus's first arrival in the

© AFP/File | Spanish police officers push people outside a polling station in Barcelona, on October 1, 2017, on the day of a referendum on independence for Catalonia banned by Madrid. Sea of flags as Spain marks national day amid Catalan crisis .

Spanish flags were proudly unfurled at a military parade in Madrid, as the political crisis with Catalan continues© Provided by AFP Spanish flags were proudly unfurled at a military parade in Madrid, as the political crisis with Catalan continues

Thousands of people waving Spanish flags lined the streets of Madrid Thursday as soldiers marched by and aircraft drawing trails of red and yellow smoke flew overhead in a military parade marking Spain's National Day.

King Felipe VI presided over the annual military display, which took place this year under the cloud of the Catalan government's threat to declare independence after it pushed ahead with a banned secession referendum on October 1 in defiance of Madrid.

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One man held up a large Spanish flags with the message: "Long live the unity of Spain ". - 'Deserve our support' -. King Felipe VI presided over the annual military parade marking Spain 's National Day in Madrid, under the cloud of the Catalan government's threat to declare independence.

MADRID: Spain marks its national day Thursday with a show of unity by opponents of Catalonian independence, a day after the Puigdemont insisted Wednesday that "the majority of Catalan people want Catalonia as an independent state" but Rajoy dismissed Puigdemont's push as "a fairytale".

Flag makers have reported a surge in demand for the Spanish flag in a country where nationalism is associated with the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, whose authoritarian rule still haunts Spain.

"I love to see people waving our national flag," said Beatriz Trapero, who was watching with her husband and carried a small flag she bought from one of the many street vendors hawking Spain-themed souvenirs on the parade route.

"There used to be a certain shyness in showing it but now it seems not so much. I hope it continues, that it is not just now."

While there have always been Spanish flags at the annual parade on Spain's national day, which commemorates Christopher Columbus's first arrival in the Americas in 1492, this year there were far more than usual.

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MADRID (AP) — Thousands of Catalans who want their region to remain in Spain marked the country's national day Thursday, marching Spain 's celebrates its national day amid one of the country's biggest crises ever as its powerful northeastern region of Catalonia threatens independence.

A construction worker looks at a new apartment block draped in a giant Spanish flag in a suburb of Madrid Spain marks its national day on Thursday with a show of unity by opponents of Catalonian independence Hundreds of thousands of protesters rally against Catalan independence in Barcelona.

People draped flags around their waists or wore them as capes and they hung from many of the balconies of apartment blocks lining the parade route.

The theme of this year's parade was "Proud to be Spanish".

"Its very emotional seeing all the flags. We have to remain together," said Andrea Corrales, a 46-year-old secretary who came to the parade with her husband and two young daughters.

One man held up a large Spanish flags with the message: "Long live the unity of Spain".

King Felipe VI presided over the annual military parade marking Spain's National Day in Madrid, under the cloud of the Catalan government's threat to declare independence© Provided by AFP King Felipe VI presided over the annual military parade marking Spain's National Day in Madrid, under the cloud of the Catalan government's threat to declare independence - 'Deserve our support' -

At one point a small group of people who were watching the parade from an apartment balcony began to chant: "Catalonia is Spain!" People on the ground looked up but did not join in and they stopped chanting.

Spain vows 'all options' open in Catalonia crisis talks

  Spain vows 'all options' open in Catalonia crisis talks Spain's government vowed to examine "all options" Wednesday in a crisis cabinet meeting hours after Catalonia's leaders said they had a mandate to declare independence but put it on hold, plunging the country into uncertainty. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed to do everything in his power to prevent the region's independence in a dispute that has hurled Spain into its deepest political crisis in decades.He has refused to rule out imposing direct rule over the semi-autonomous region -- a move many fear could lead to unrest.

MADRID – Thousands of Catalans who want their region to remain in Spain marked the country’s national day Thursday, marching through Barcelona waving both Spanish and Catalan flags and shouting “I am Spanish ,” as the region’s threats of independence have left the country in crisis .

MADRID (AP) — Thousands of Catalans who want their region to remain in Spain marked the country's national day Thursday, marching through Barcelona waving both Spanish and Catalan flags and shouting "I am Spanish ," as the region's threats of independence have left the country in crisis .

The crowd cheered as members of La Legion, an elite unit of the Spanish Army, paraded by with their mascot, a goat named Rocco.

But the biggest applause was reserved for members of Spain's national police force, which has come in for criticism over its violent response to the October 1 independence vote in Catalonia.

The crowd cheered loudly when a national police 4x4 drove slowly by with a black police dog on its hood as well as when national police helicopters flew overhead.

"They did what they had to do, they deserve our support," said 67-year-old retired teacher Alberto Luis Buzo.

The national police were taking part in the annual parade for the first time in decades. The government said they had been invited to participate months ago and their presence was not related to their actions during the Catalan referendum.

Spain-Catalonia standoff set to intensify as leaders take hard lines .
Spain's political showdown with Catalonia is set to reach a new level on Thursday when political leaders in Madrid and Barcelona are expected to make good on pledges made to their supporters to stick to their tough positions over the region's future.In an unprecedented move since Spain returned to democracy in the late 1970s, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will impose direct rule in Catalonia unless the region's leader Carles Puigdemont retracts by 10 a.m. (0800 GMT) an ambiguous declaration of independence he made last week.

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