Irish Times. Crisis fuels Catalan independence push. 11.09.2012
Crisis fuels Catalan independence push
Surging unemployment and financial disarray have stoked a fever of separatism in Catalonia, a comparatively prosperous part of Spain whose leaders say their wealth is being sucked dry by the central government.
Crowds waved red and yellow striped Catalan flags – one of the oldest still in use in Europe – and sang the Catalan anthem on a national day marking the conquest of Catalonia by Spain’s King Philip V in 1714 after a 13 month siege of Barcelona.
The regional government said the crowd was 600,000 strong. Local police gave figures as high as 1.5 million.
Marchers said the sheer size of the crowd – swollen with people from around the region who descended on its capital in bright sunshine – would at last make Madrid hear their message.
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