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Separatists clash with police at right-wing rally in Spanish Basque country

Separatists clash with police at right-wing rally in Spanish Basque country

Dozens of Basque separatists clashed with police who were guarding a far-right rally on Saturday in this northern seaside resort city.
The Falange party, linked to former dictator Gen. Francisco Franco, had gathered at the central Pio XII plaza to hear leaders Ricardo Saenz de Ynestrillas and Manuel Andrino speak under heavy regional police protection.
Participants sang anthems associated with Franco's regime and waved flags and banners with right-wing symbols.
"This is not a provocation, we have come to celebrate our Spanishness," said Ynestrillas.
As separatist demonstrators began to crowd around the rally-goers, shouting, "You, fascists, are the terrorists," police charged, using rubber bullets to scatter them.
Passers by in cars honked horns in disapproval at the rally and local residents also hurled derision.
The Basque country was a pocket of strong resistance against Franco's troops during Spain's civil war and suffered repression once his nationalist troops won the conflict, a victory which led to his 40-year rule.
In 1968, Basque separatism gave rise to the violent group ETA, whose name is a Basque-language acronym for Basque Homeland Freedom.
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Associated Press writer Harold Heckle in Madrid contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-04-14 16:10 GMT+08:00