Huge crowds of pro-unity supporters march through the streets of Barcelona on Sunday (October 29). Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Tens of thousands of pro-unity demonstrators waving Spanish, Catalan, and European Union flags took to the streets of Barcelona on Sunday (October 29) as the country faced its worst political crisis in the four decades since its return to democracy. The demo came after sacked Catalan President Carles Puigdemont called for peaceful "democratic opposition" to the central government's takeover of the region following its unilateral declaration of independence from Spain. Puigdemont's regional government was dismissed by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday (October 28). Catalan independence parties are seen as losing their parliamentary majority in an election, according to a poll published on Sunday, though the wafer-thin margin between the two sides predicts a hard-fought campaign to December's ballot. The poll was taken from last Monday to Thursday, just as Spain's central government was preparing to take control of the restive region, which then made a unilateral declaration of independence on Friday. Pro-independence parties were seen as taking 42.5 percent of the vote while anti-independence parties would win 43.4 percent, according to the poll of some 1,000 people surveyed by Sigma Dos and published in the anti-independence newspaper El Mundo. European countries, the United States and Mexico have rejected the Catalan declaration and expressed support for Spain's unity.