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160,000 join pro-refugee protest in Barcelona
Barcelona, Feb 18, 2017 (AFP) – Tens of thousands of people marched through Barcelona on Saturday urging the Spanish government to immediately meet its pledge to take in thousands of refugees.
Ada Colau, the mayor of Spain’s second city, had called on Barcelona residents to “fill the streets” and march under the slogan volem acollir (“We want to welcome them” in Catalan).
Local police said some 160,000 people had heeded her call.
Many of those flooding the major Via Laietana thoroughfare carried signs reading “Enough excuses, welcome them now”.
The protest comes after Spain pledged to take in some 16,000 asylum seekers from other European Union countries under a quota system agreed in 2015 as the continent struggled with its biggest migration crisis since World War II.
Like other EU members, Spain has fallen far short of this target, with only 1,100 resettled in…
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