Basque Separatists Demonstrate for Independence Referendum
UP to 20,000 demonstrators have today turned out in the streets in Spain's Basque region demanding a referendum for independence. Counter demonstrators from Spain's far right nationalist party had to be kept apart from the Basques by police.
The regional government had originally planned to hold a vote on Saturday, but the proposal was declared illegal by Spain's Supreme Court.
Organisers say 20,000 people joined rallies in six Basque towns.
In another sign of protest against the court's ruling, there were explosions at two Basque railway stations.
The governing Basque Nationalist Party had hoped to consult the electorate on Saturday on negotiations towards a full referendum on independence within two years.
But last month, Spain's Supreme Court declared the plan unconstitutional.
During Saturday's march, police had to separate Basque nationalist demonstrators from a rival rally by a far-right party - which proclaimed that Spain would never be divided.
Overnight, there was a very different protest in the form of explosions at two Basque railway stations.