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Large pro-Spain march in Catalonia as student separatist action grows

Organisers said 400,000 attended the march against separatism.
Organisers said 400,000 attended the march against separatism. / AFP
  • Belgian authorities will decide in December whether to extradite former regional president Carles Puigdemont to Spain

The political divisions in Catalonia continued to spill over into the streets this week.

As a change from recent demonstrations by separatist supporters, often accompanied with violence, last Sunday it was the turn of those in favour of being part of Spain to demonstrate. Organisers said 400,000 people attended although local police put the figure at nearer 80,000.

Meanwhile tensions have been growing in the educational community with blockades of university buildings organised by radical separatist groups as many students went on strike. The protesters are asking for those Catalan leaders recently convicted over illegal independence moves to be released and for investigations to be carried out into, what they claim, is brutality by police at recent protests.

Other students and teachers, who had wanted to attend classes, complained that they had been prevented and asked for the universities and police to do more to guarantee normality.

Detention orders

Spanish prosecutors have started to reactivate European arrest warrants for the Catalan separatist leaders who fled to escape arrest after the 2017 banned declaration of independence.

In Brussels, Belgian authorities have delayed until 16 December a hearing on whether to extradite former Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont over alleged sedition in Spain.

Reactivating arrest warrants of three others is also being discussed by prosecutors and the courts.