CORONAVIRUS has claimed another victim – Catalonia’s national day.

Normally separatists use September 11 as an opportunity for mass rallies and protests calling for independence from Spain.

But this year large gatherings have been banned due to the coronavirus pandemic. Catalonia has seen a big increase in cases over the past few days.

Catalan Flag

Dubbed the ‘Diada’, the annual event marks the day when Barcelona fell to Spain in 1714 and attracts crowds of around a million people.

This year the streets have remained quiet as the region struggles to contain the virus.

Organisers have been forced to cancel the traditional large-scale gatherings in Barcelona in favour of small events across Catalonia.

More militant separatists made their mark instead with multiple acts o sabotage.

The AVE high speed train service to France was affected for several hours after burning tyres were left on the tracks.

This was the first Diada since nine separatist leaders were given lengthy jail terms following a declaration of independence ‘referendum’, and was expected to see large rallies in their support.

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