La Vanguardia, Sept. 12

Some 800,000 Catalans used Sunday's annual La Diada, national day in Catalonia, to renew demands for independence from Spain. "Another spectacular Diada," read Monday morning's front-page headline of the Barcelona-based La Vanguardia daily.

The newspaper noted the separatists' determination to achieve independence, with Catalonia's regional president Carles Puigdemont proposing that the government hold a secession referendum.

Participants on Sunday gathered in five towns and cities of the northeastern region – Barcelona, Lleida, Tarragona and Salt – to commemorate the defeat of the Siege of Barcelona by the French-Spanish troops during the Spanish civil war in 1714.

The latest drive for independence began in 2012, when Madrid refused to discuss increased economic autonomy for the region. Catalans feel too much of their tax money is invested in other parts of the country and that the Spanish state is unsympathetic to their culture and language. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who has repeatedly made it clear that he will not allow a referendum, is in the midst of his own political crisis, unable to find enough support to form a ruling majority.

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