More than one million people crammed the streets of Barcelona to celebrate Catalonia’s national day.
The throngs called for Catalonia to break away from Spain, with the day also marking the campaign opening ahead of regional elections on September 27.
Raul Romeva, is from the independence group ‘Together for Yes:’ “We want the world to listen, once and for all to listen clearly to the will of the Catalan people, and respect the democratic mandate if that is the people’s will.”
But not everyone sees a link between Catalonia’s national day and a campaign for independence:
“This transformation of our national day into a re-election campaign for Artur Mas, the president of Catalonia, is making some people a little uneasy,” said one man.
Our correspondent in Barcelona Cristina Giner said:“The Catalan electoral campaign is expected to be an intense affair. The election is of strategic importance for the main national parties.It will give a taste of the strength of the independence vote and indicate how people will cast their ballots come December’s general election.”