Spain’s National Day celebrations in Barcelona smaller than in the last years
Nearly 4,000 Spanish unity supporters and extreme-right forces gathered this Monday in Barcelona’s ‘Plaça de Catalunya’to celebrate Spain’s National Day. Although this time neither the Spanish People’s Party (PP) nor anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans confirmed their attendance, the PP’s leader in Catalonia, Xavier Garcia Albiol, in the end took part in the rally, together with other PP members. With the slogan ‘Barcelona, capital city of Spanishness’, members of Falange –the fascist party of Franco, which is still legal in today’s Spain, groups opposing Catalonia’s independence and retired soldiers displayed Spanish flags, shouted ‘Catalonia is Spain’ and burnt pro-independence flags in the centre of the square. Spain’s National Day commemorates the day Columbus landed in America, in 1492. In Madrid there is a big army exhibition but in the last years the day has been regarded as opposition to Catalonia’s push for independence and other regions of Spain’s exaltation of Spanish nationalism and the denial of other regions autonomy, especially Catalonia and Basque Country.