Catalans in Spain are planning to stage a major rally in Barcelona on the National Day of Catalonia demanding independence for the country’s northeastern region.
Inspired by Scotland’s upcoming independence referendum, nationalist in Catalonia have vowed to pour out on the streets on Thursday for a huge protest march to demand their own referendum to break away from Spain.
Demonstrators plan to march along two central avenues in the shape of a giant letter V for vote.
Meanwhile, organizers say that more than half a million people have signed up for the Thursday demonstration.
Catalan President Artur Mas said earlier on Wednesday that if the Catalan population wants to vote on its future, it would be “impossible to stop that forever,” adding that the Spanish government should realize that it cannot stand against the people’s will.
“If a nation such as Scotland can vote, why not Catalonia?” said Mas, who has defied Madrid by calling a vote on Catalan independence for November 9.
Meanwhile, Spain’s national government strongly opposes any effort toward independence for Catalonia. It has branded the planned vote illegal and has pledged to block it.
“I think it’s absurd to pretend that could be so and I think the Spanish government will have to realize that,” Mas said.
He said that Scotland’s vote could smooth the way for Catalonia on its own drive for independence.
This is while EU officials have warned that breaking away to form new states would leave Scotland and Catalonia automatically out of the bloc.
Meanwhile, Polls suggest that the majority of the 7.5 million people living in the northeastern region of Spain back plans for the referendum scheduled for November 9.