‘Nothing to celebrate’: Catalan businesses opening on Spain’s national day

A number of shops will work either for economic reasons or to make a political statement

A store in the town of Malla, in central Catalonia (by ACN)
A store in the town of Malla, in central Catalonia (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 12, 2018 10:03 AM

Most businesses in Catalonia are expected to remain closed on October 12, the holiday marking Spain’s national day. Yet, a number of shops have decided to work—either for economic reasons, or as a political statement to show they have "nothing to celebrate."

Unlike last year, the Catalan government included October 12 as one of the eight holidays in the calendar when companies are given the option of working.

In Vic, in central Catalonia, more than 220 stores were closed on October 1, marking the first anniversary of the independence referendum carried out despite Spain’s opposition. On Friday, they’ll be open to compensate the day they took off and reject what they don’t consider to be their holiday.

Vic will hardly be alone in exchanging October 12 for October 1. Berga, Igualada, Manresa or Solsona will also see many of their stores open today. All these towns can be found in central Catalonia, where support for independence is remarkably higher than in other areas.

In Girona, north of Catalonia, the plaça del Lleó market will be open—the only town market in Catalonia that is expected to work on Spain’s national day.

Manel Rodríguez, the president of the market, told ACN that shoppers voted to decide whether or not they would open. As many decided to work, they gave people the chance of working or not.