Basques in 200-kilometre human chain for secession

Elias Hubbard
June 13, 2018

Nearly 200,000 people joined together Sunday in Spain's Basque Country to create a 202-kilometer (125-mile) human chain to make the case for having a vote on independence.

Participants waved flags in Basque red, green and white as they took part in a chain stretching from the coastal resort of San Sebastian to the region's capital Vitoria, seat of the regional parliament, via business hub Bilbao.

Though support for outright Basque independence has fallen over the years, many still believe the population should be given the right to vote over their future ties to Madrid.

Former Prime Minister with the conservative People's Party (PP) Mariano Rajoy, who has been roundly criticised for his handling of the Catalan crisis, was ousted by Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez in a no-confidence vote June 1.

Sanchez has called for renewed talks with the Catalan leadership since taking charge.

It was organised by the Guru Esku Dago (In Our Own Hands) group as a peaceful call to the Spanish government to allow a vote on independence. With 175,000 participants, according to Gure Esku Dago, the group nearly doubled the 100,000 it said it would need to link the chain.

Several also wore symbols of support for Calatan separatists.

The event was also created to show support for Catalonia several of whose pro-independence leaders were jailed or else fled overseas in the aftermath of last year's referendum which Madrid said was unconstitutional.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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