Spain marks 'Fiesta Nacional' as politicians in Catalonia go to work as usual in defiance

2016-10-14 08:00:00

Official ceremonies were held throughout a rainy Spain last Wednesday to mark the traditional October 12th ‘Fiesta Nacional’ and ‘Virgin del Pilar’ saint’s day.
As usual, the main event was the military parade in the centre of Madrid, attended by King Felipe, Queen Letizia and their children, as well as politicians and other dignitaries.
In recent years the parade has been scaled down, however 3,400 military personnel still took part in the colourful ceremony. This year the event was tainted with both the uncertainty of who will form the next national government and ongoing attempts by some Catalonian politicians to separate from Spain.
Catalonian unrest
In Badalona, Catalonia’s third largest town, left-wing councillors from the CUPand ERCparties defied a court order forcing them to close on the public holiday and opened the town hall to provide basic services. The councillors said that,“we can’t commemorate a genocide,” in reference to the October 12th holiday’s origin as the day Christopher Columbus sighted land and the colonisation of the Americas began.
Some Catalonian regional politicians and a few other local councils also ignored the holiday.
The protest comes after the Catalonian parliament last week backed plans by pro-independence first minister, Carles Puigdemont, to hold a controversial referendum to separate from Spain next September.source surinenglish