Let us split from Spain – the message from hundreds of thousands of Catalans, who have taken to the streets to renew their call for independence for the region.
The waved flags and chanted in five cities, including Barcelona, in a massive show of strength on Catalonia’s national day – La Diada.
“We are almost there. I think we are reaching the final destination. I think we’re very close to arriving where we are supposed to arrive,” said Dolors Arenes, who joined the street rallies.
Jose Puig Roura, an independence supporter, added: “We’re happy in Europe, we feel European and we understand we are Europeans. We want to keep being Europeans. We don’t want to compare ourselves to the English. They have their own motives.”
Local leaders want Catalonia to break off next year, in spite of legal blocks made by the central government.
These are turbulent times in Spanish politics, with two inconclusive elections leaving the country without a new national administration.
The conservative caretaker government has firmly opposed any move towards Catalan secession and resorted to challenges via the constitutional court.
The national day rallies will only add to the pressure facing leaders in Madrid.