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  • Demonstrators seen giving fascist salutes at a rally against Catalan independence.

    Demonstrators seen giving fascist salutes at a rally against Catalan independence. | Photo: AFP

Spanish law bans such representations if they are used to incite acts of violence.

Unionists and their supporters took to the streets of Barcelona to protest any moves toward independence as a result of Catalonia's referendum vote, with a number of demonstrators raising their right arms in fascists salutes, according to the Daily Mail.

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Presumably linked to Falangist groups dating back to the Franco-era dictatorship, protesters with fascists symbols, tattoos and flags were photographed at the protest. Spanish law bans such representations if they are used to incite acts of violence.

The protests are a repeat of scenes witnessed in Madrid yesterday when far-right demonstrators, brandishing fascists flags and symbols, rallied in the streets against Catalan's independence movement during a massive rally in support of dialogue.

Under the military dictatorship of Francisco Franco from 1939-1975, all regional languages and symbols were banned, particularly in Catalonia and the Basque Country.

Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian-born author known for his right-wing views, is attending the rally and has denounced Catalan independence, calling it a nationalist movement that will bring down Spain.

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Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has emphatically ruled out negotiating with the Catalan government ahead of its declaration of independence scheduled for Oct. 10.

"As long as there's no return to legality, I certainly will not negotiate," he told El Pais.

Spain and the European Commission, the European Union's executive branch, maintain that Catalonia's independence referendum was illegal. In response to the vote, Spanish riot police shut down polling stations and beat protesters, leaving almost 900 people injured. Notwithstanding, over 90 percent voted for independence.

Located in the northeast of Spain, Catalonia is recognized as one of the country's most prosperous regions — not only economically, but culturally. Residents, some 7.5 million people, have also been able to maintain their national language: Catalan. Apart from these aspects, which have historically fed into the independence movement, residents of Barcelona say they pay exorbitant taxes to Madrid and don't receive their worth back in services.


CORRECTION: The previously published version of this article said "Ines Arrimadas had earlier tweeted that demonstrators should refrain from waving fascist flags 'in front of the press,'" but the Twitter account turned out to be a fake one. We regret the error.

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