On Sunday, tens of thousands of people waved Spain’s red-and-yellow flag and protested in Madrid. The protest was mainly for actively resisting against any adjustment by the government to Catalan pro-independence parties and request for early elections. Protestors not only chanted ‘Spain’, but also voiced their opinion that they want to vote. Their chants echoed in the Plaza de Colon in the city center. The protest is being regarded as the largest protest that the Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has faced in eight months since taking up office.
The rally was called by center-right and far-right parties, who are looking forward to make a show of force against Sanchez by gaining advantage from anger with Catalonia’s separatist leaders and also the government’s attempts to establish a discussion with them. According to sources, around 45,000 people were present for the meeting.
Last Tuesday, the government proposed that they would be appointing a recorder in talks among political parties in order to deal with the Catalan independence crisis shocked the opposition, which has considered it a betrayal and yield to pressure from Catalan separatists.
Popular Party leader Pablo Casado informed reporters just before the start of the rally that the time of Sanchez’s government is all up. Sanchez, who ousted a conservative government, last June in a vote of confidence, maintains just a quarter of the seats in parliament and depends on the backing from anti-austerity party Podemos, Catalan nationalists and other small parties to pass laws.
The government is jostled from both ends of the Catalan issue: Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo stated on Friday that the discussions were on path to flunk because Catalan pro-independence groups had dismissed the government’s suggested framework. The Catalan groups want a vote on independence included on the agenda, which Madrid won’t accept.
Ana Puente, a 73 year-old retiree who was a part of the gathering, stated that she was objecting for a “united Spain”. A person carrying a Spanish flag stated that although the government has given many things to the supporters of Catalan independence; yet it is again going to break Spain apart. However, Sanchez completely rejected the argument.