Unionists call National Day celebrations a ‘private party’ of the independence camp

Catalonia’s ruling parties are accused of promoting "hatred of Spain"

The leader of far-right VOX, Ignacio Garriga (by Jordi Bataller)
The leader of far-right VOX, Ignacio Garriga (by Jordi Bataller) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 11, 2021 05:00 PM

With every National Day in the past ten years marked by rallies demanding Catalonia’s separation from Spain, unionist parties have become increasingly weary of joining any celebrations, or even observing the holiday at all, and accuse their political rivals of appropriating the day to make it "a private party." 

Out of four unionist parties in the Catalan parliament, only the Socialists, the largest and less belligerent, attended the floral tribute to national hero Rafael Casanova on Saturday.

Salvador Illa, the party leader, called for the National Day to be "everybody’s Diada," (the name of the holiday in Catalan) and for the senyera, the four-striped national flag, to become once again "the symbol of Catalonia," in opposition to the estelada, the independence flag that’s ubiquitous on September 11 rallies.

The tone of the three unionist parties on the right was more confrontational.

Far right calls the Diada ‘exclusionary’

"They’ve made the National Day an exclusionary, xenophobic and anti-Spanish party, with the sole goal of promoting their separatist cause," said Ignacio Garriga, the leader of far-right and anti-inmigration VOX.

Bursting into the parliament in the past election with 11 seats, Vox has emerged as the most blatant detractor of the independence movement and champions of Spain’s unity.