Spain Celebrates National Day Despite Catalan Crisis Spain is celebrating National Day, which commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas. The celebration comes amid turmoil caused by a referendum on independence for Catalonia.
NPR logo

Spain Celebrates National Day Despite Catalan Crisis

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/557298110/557298111" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Spain Celebrates National Day Despite Catalan Crisis

Spain Celebrates National Day Despite Catalan Crisis

Spain Celebrates National Day Despite Catalan Crisis

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/557298110/557298111" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Spain is celebrating National Day, which commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas. The celebration comes amid turmoil caused by a referendum on independence for Catalonia.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's National Day in Spain, and the holiday comes at an awkward time. The country is going through its worst political crisis in decades. The government has given the separatist leader of Catalonia an ultimatum - drop the independence push or lose even more autonomy. Lauren Frayer reports from the Catalan capital Barcelona, where the holiday brings mixed feelings.

LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: It's the Spanish version of Columbus Day - El Dia de la Hispanidad, the day of being Spanish, when Christopher Columbus brought Spanish language and culture to the Americas. Nationwide, it's a day off work and school. But for Catalans like Ivan Hernan Vaquero, who voted on October 1 to secede from Spain, the holiday brings no joy.

IVAN HERNAN VAQUERO: 12 October is National Day of Spain. I don't have anything to celebrate because it's not my day. We are living in very difficult moments for the people who live in Catalan, yeah?

FRAYER: Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told Parliament last night, all Spaniards are in a state of restlessness and anxiety...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRIME MINISTER MARIANO RAJOY: (Speaking Spanish).

FRAYER: ...Over the possible breakup of their country. Rajoy has given Catalonia's separatist leader, Carles Puigdemont, until Monday to clarify whether he has already declared independence or not, and until Thursday, to reverse himself if he has or be deposed by Madrid.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RAJOY: (Speaking Spanish).

FRAYER: "It's time to put an end to this rupture," Rajoy said. Today, he'll preside over a huge military parade in Madrid alongside the Spanish royals. Here in Catalonia, rival rallies are scheduled by those who want to stay Spanish and those who want independence. For NPR News, I'm Lauren Frayer in Barcelona.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRIO ELF'S "746")

Copyright © 2017 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.