Euro Crisis

Catalans March for Independence from Spain

Blame Spain for bringing their economy down

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Hundreds of thousands of Catalans took to the streets of Barcelona on Tuesday in an unprecedented show of mass support for autonomy from Madrid, blaming Spain's economic crisis for dragging their wealthy region down.

Surging unemployment and financial disarray have stoked a fever of separatism in Catalonia, a comparatively prosperous part of Spain whose leaders say their wealth is being sucked dry by the central government.

Crowds waved red and yellow striped Catalan flags—one of the oldest still in use in Europe—and sang the Catalan anthem on a national day marking the conquest of Catalonia by Spain's King Philip V in 1714 after a 13 month siege of Barcelona.