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Separatists in Catalonia respond in numbers to call for bank run

Europe
20.10.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Madrid (dpa) - Supporters of Catalonia‘s independence from Spain took part in co-ordinated, large-scale cash withdrawals from major banks on Friday, in protest at the central government‘s threat to suspend the region‘s autonomy.

The Catalan National Assembly (ANC), a pro-independence party in Catalonia‘s parliament, as well as the civil society organization Omnium Cultural, had encouraged their supporters to withdraw funds from Spain‘s major banks between 8 and 9 am (0600-0700 GMT) on Friday morning.

Under the hashtag, #laforcadelagent (the strength of the people), Twitter users published photographs of long queues in front of bank machines, as well as some machines that had been put out of order. The hashtag was a trending topic on Twitter by midday on Friday, used in over 50,000 tweets.

Many also published pictures of their cash withdrawals of 155 euros (183 dollars) in protest at the Spanish government‘s threat to invoke the never-before-used article 155 of the Spanish constitution, which can be used to suspend a region‘s autonomy.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau said on Friday in a radio interview that she did not consider the action to be the best idea, but that upcoming decisions in Madrid could also continue to reinforce the independence movement.

Also on Friday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy met the leader of Spain‘s opposition Socialist Workers‘ Party (PSOE), Pedro Sanchez, and agreed to take steps to force fresh regional elections in Catalonia in January if the region‘s leaders do not abandon their push for independence.

 

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