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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thousands join republican march in Spain

 


Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Madrid on Saturday to demand a referendum to abolish Spain's monarchy, just days after King Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of his son.

"Spain, tomorrow, will be republican," they chanted, waving the red, purple and gold flags of the country's second republic, proclaimed in 1931 then overthrown eight years later by General Francisco Franco at the end of the country's catastrophic civil war. 

It was only a few hours after the 76-year-old king announced his abdication on June 2 that a wave of republicanism spread across the country. 

On Saturday, dozens of left-wing political parties and citizens' organisations came together to demand "A referendum now!" on the future of the monarchy. 

 Protestors march as they wave Republican flags during a demonstration against the Spanish Monarchy and demanding a referendum in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, June 7, 2014. King Juan Carlos plans to abdicate and pave the way for his son, Crown Prince Felipe, to become the country's next king. The 76-year-old Juan Carlos oversaw his country's transition from dictatorship to democracy but has had repeated health problems in recent years, and his popularity dipped following royal scandals. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Street protests were held in several parts of Spain, including the Basque country and Valencia as well as the capital Madrid.

"The time has come to ask the people what kind of head of state they want," said 31-year-old university researcher Jorge Lopez in Madrid.

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