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Thousands protest in Madrid against government's Catalonia policy


MADRID: Thousands of folks demonstrated in Madrid on Sunday against Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's proposed talks to ease political tensions in Catalonia, in a protest organised by centre-right and far-right opposition parties.

Demonstrators waving Spanish flags stuffed the Plaza de Colon within the city centre within the greatest protest Sanchez has confronted, with their slogan "For a united Spain, elections now!" a reminder of the drive on his minority govt.

The Socialist govt's proposal ultimate Tuesday to appoint a rapporteur in talks amongst political parties to address the Catalan independence crisis galvanized the opposition, which has deemed it a betrayal and a give up to drive from Catalan separatists. The opposition has called for early elections.

Sanchez, who replaced a conservative govt ultimate June, holds just a quarter of the seats in parliament and depends upon backing from anti-austerity birthday party Podemos, Catalan nationalists and other small parties to move rules.

The govt faces a key vote next Wednesday on its 2019 price range proposal, which can likely fail with out the fortify of Catalan parties. But the ones parties have stated their vote for the price range is conditional at the Catalan talks together with the issue of independence, one thing the federal government will not include.

Failure by parliament to approve the price range bill could recommended a snap election sooner than the following scheduled vote in 2020.

Centre-right wing parties Popular Party and Ciudadanos organised Sunday's protest, and the newly emerged far-right birthday party Vox also participated.

"The time of Sanchez's government has ended," Popular Party leader Pablo Casado stated at the protest.

Sanchez stated on Saturday that the gathering would display a "Spain in black and white that simply proposes to go backwards."

Ana Puente, a 73 year-old retiree, stated she was protesting for a "united Spain".


"The government is giving many things to supporters of Catalan independence and is going to break Spain apart," stated Raquel GarcĂ­a, 76, who was sporting a Spanish flag.


The protest took place two days sooner than the start of the trial of 12 Catalan independence leaders, who face up to 25 years in jail on charges of riot and misuse of public price range for their role in a failed secession bid from Spain that they are accused of spearheading in 2017.


The govt is squeezed on each side of the Catalan issue: Deputy top minister Carmen Calvo stated on Friday talks have been on target to fail as a result of Catalan pro-independence teams had rejected the federal government's proposed framework. The Catalan teams want a referendum on independence included at the agenda, which Madrid will not settle for.


Recent opinion polls have proven the Popular Party, Ciudadanos and Vox could win a majority of seats in parliament if elections have been held, allowing them to change the Socialist govt.


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