Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Spain: Thousands form human chain for Basque secession vote

Spain: Thousands form human chain for Basque secession vote

Tens of thousands of Spaniards from the northern Basque Country have formed a line that stretched over 200 kilometres (124 miles) to demand a ballot on secession for the wealthy region.

The chain extended from the city of San Sebastian all the way to the Basque parliament in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the autonomous region.

While most from the Basque Country, which already has a high level of self-determination and, like Catalonia, has its own language and culture, do not support independence, many believe the population should be given the right to vote.

Sanchez, who now heads the government following the vote, has called for renewed talks with the Catalan leadership.

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Madrid controversially took control of Catalonia after the region unilaterally declared independence last October.

Sunday's participants to the human chain, organised by Basque group Gure Esku Dago (In Our Own Hands), were asked to write their aspirations on neckerchiefs, which they used as links in the chain. 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.

Gure Esku Dago spokesman Angel Oiarbide told supporters in Vitoria: "We have proved that we want to decide the political future of this country".

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.

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