Tens of thousands of people gathered in Madrid on Sunday to protest against the government’s handling of the Catalan question, as the country braced for the landmark trial of 12 separatist leaders this week. About 45,000 people joined the rally in Colón square to vent their fury at what they see as the overly conciliatory stance adopted by the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, and to demand a snap general election.

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