Tens of thousands form 124-mile line to demand Basque secession ballot

Испанцы выстроились в живую цепь длиной 202

The scarves bore the slogan "It's in our hands" written in Basque.

The chain extended 201.9km from San Sebastian (also known as Donostia) to Victoria-Garteiz - the capital of the Basque autonomous community.

The event was also created to show support for Catalonia several of whose pro-independence leaders were jailed or else fled overseas in the aftermath of last year's referendum which Madrid said was unconstitutional.

In contrast with Catalonia, where support for secession is close to 50%, support for independence within the Basque country is now around 15-17% according to polls.

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The chain was organized by the Basque group Gure Esku Dago (In Our Own Hands), and stretched from the seaside resort of San Sebastián west to the city of Bilbao and then south to Vitoria, the home of the Basque parliament.

Some wore symbols of support for Calatan separatists.

The Basque Country enjoys higher levels of self-determination than any of Spain's other sixteen regions, with its own police force, education system, language and special financial arrangement with Madrid. Catalonia's subsequent declaration of independence prompted Madrid to take temporary control of the regional parliament and detain dissident civil servants who took part in the vote.

In contrast with Catalonia, where support for secession is close to 50 percent, support for independence within the Basque country is now around 15-17 percent according to polls.

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