Huge anti-Catalan independence rally under way in Barcelona

Image of the European Union flag. Credit: [email protected]

THOUSANDS of demonstrators calling for a unified Spain are marching through central Barcelona today.

The march comes exactly one week after the regional government held an illegal referendum that went ahead despite the intervention of police that resulted in hundreds of people being injured.

More than 2.3 million Catalans took part in the referendum – a turnout of 42 percent – with 90% voting in favour of independence. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said the result meant the region had “won the right to have an independent state”.

But Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has warned the government could use constitutional powers to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy if it declares independence.

Spain’s constitution states that the country is indivisible and gives the national government the exclusive power to hold referendums.

Rajoy has also ruled out mediation talks with Cataluña and said more police would be deployed to the region until the situation returns to normal.

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