Massive protest in Madrid over Catalonia policy talks

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Tens of thousands gathered in Madrid for a protest by right-wing parties opposed to a Spanish government plan to ease tension in the Catalonia region.

The centre-right Popular Party (PP) and Citizens party say Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s plan to appoint an intermediary for talks with separatists amounts to treason.

The separatists have rejected the offer rather, they want a new independence vote.

Like the right, the ruling Socialists also oppose Catalan independence.

Far-right groups including the Vox party were also present at the protest, held under the slogan “For a united Spain. Elections now!”

Protesters filled the Spanish capital’s Colon Square and nearby streets, many of them chanting “long live Spain”.

Police put the total number of demonstrators at 45,000.

BBC/BEN