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  • Around 2,700 people have participated in those actions, summoned by the “Pícnic per la República.”

    Around 2,700 people have participated in those actions, summoned by the “Pícnic per la República.” | Photo: RTVE

Published 20 October 2019

In other points of Catalonia, there have been demonstrations in front of commissaries and squares to protest for those detained in riots and to ask for the freedom of secessionist leaders.

Catalonia continues its seventh day of protests as manifestations erupted Sunday in various cities of the semi-autonomous region, despite a tense truce between the police and the protesters. 

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Catalonia: Police Repress Protesters During Overnight Demos

Demonstrators gathered in Mallorca street, near the Government Delegation of Barcelona, where they threw garbage to evidence the “filth” of the Spanish executive. According to the Urban Guard, around 2,700 people have participated in those actions, summoned by the “Pícnic per la República.”

Afterward, some of the activists moved to Diagonal Avenue, stopping traffic with an improvised sitting in the middle of the road.

In other points of Catalonia there have been demonstrations in front of commissaries and squares to protest for those detained in riots and to ask for the freedom of secessionist leaders, punished with nine to 13 years in prison for their role in the failed independent process of 2017.

According to the latest data reported by the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia, 35 people in Barcelona, ​​15 in Girona, 15 in Lleida and 13 in Tarragona have gone to court, reports the newspaper El País.

Currently, there are concentrations in front of the La Verneda Police Station and the Les Corts Police Station, in Barcelona, ​​and in Girona, Reus, Vic, Sabadell, and Villanova in la Geltrú.

That Spain stinks. And report it by throwing garbage (not real). It is the protest this afternoon in Barcelona called by @PicnicxRep @teleSURtv

Economic losses in Barcelona are estimated in over EU$2.5 million euros, consequence of the protests of last weeks, the city council informed, figures which do not include damages to the pavement.

Spanish Minister of Economy and Business Nadia Calviño in a press conference part of a meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, hoped “we do not have to regret great damage and that the economic impact is not relevant,” and that order would be restored soon.

Local press reports that riots of the last week have left about 600 injured and destroyed in the urban furniture of Barcelona worth EU$2 million euros. 

Dialogue with the Government

Spain's Executive has rejected negotiation calls from Catalonia’s president Quim Torra on the grounds that he had not sufficiently condemned the violence of protests that have gripped Barcelona for seven straight days.

“Mr. Torra must strongly condemn the violence, which he has not done so far. The government of Spain reiterates that the problem of Catalonia is not independence, which will not occur because it is not legal and nor does the majority of Catalans want it, but rather coexistence,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez responded.

Despite Barcelona's mayor pleading for restraint and the efforts of dozens of middle-aged protesters to form a human barrier between younger protesters and riot police to prevent another street battle, violence eventually erupted again late on Saturday night.

However, it was not a repeat of the previous nights' clashes, which saw masked youths blocking roads with blazing litter bins and hurling petrol bombs, chunks of pavement, firecrackers, and acid at police after surrounding their headquarters.

This led to Torra to ask again for discussions with Madrid to find a “democratic solution” to the crisis. He insisted the unprecedented unrest did not reflect the peaceful nature of the Catalan independence movement, backed by roughly half of the region's 5.5 million voters.

Two years after the debacle of the first plebiscite, Catalonia's independence drive still dominates much of Spain's fractured political debate, and will likely color a national election on Nov. 10, Spain's fourth in as many years.

Spain's main parties have consistently refused to hold an independence referendum in Catalonia, although the acting Socialist government says it is open to dialogue on other issues.

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