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Spanish national day clouded by Catalonia crisis, jet crash

Europe
12.10.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Madrid (dpa) - As Spaniards waved red and yellow flags from their windows and through the streets of Madrid, the jubilation of Spain‘s national day seemed overshadowed by the crash of a fighter jet and the political crisis over Catalonia‘s vague declaration of independence.

Catalonia‘s push towards cutting ties with Spain - and an icy response from the federal government in Madrid - have created weeks of tension across Spain. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont suspended the wealthy north-eastern region‘s independence declaration on Tuesday, leaving its status in limbo.

As the country marked its national day on Thursday, there was a small demonstration of the pro-Spanish group Sociedad Civil Catalana (SCC) in Barcelona under the slogan, "Yes to Catalonia and also to Spain." Participants called out, "Long live Spain!" and "Puigdemont in prison!"

According to Spanish media, clashes took place on the Catalan capital‘s Placa de Catalunya between members of right-wing nationalist organizations that had demonstrated for the unity of Spain and other groups. It was unclear whether injuries or arrests occurred.

The pilot of a Spanish Air Force plane was killed when his aircraft crashed near the Los Llanos airbase in the province of Albacete on Thursday, Spanish Defence Ministry sources told dpa.

The Eurofighter aircraft had plunged to the ground after taking part in the annual military parade for the holiday in Madrid, where King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia presided over the festivities.

 

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