Thousands of students take to the streets in Barcelona to protest against Madrid's plans for direct rule over the region. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Thousands of students gathered in Barcelona on Thursday (October 26) for a pro-independence rally against direct rule by the Spanish national government. It came as reports emerged that Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont was set to call a snap regional election for December 20, local media reported, a move that could help break a one-month deadlock between the Madrid government and Catalan separatists seeking independence from Spain. Barcelona-based newspaper La Vanguardia said Puigdemont had taken the decision in a bid to convince the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy not to enforce direct rule in the region. Calling an election could either strengthen Puigdemont's mandate if pro-independence parties won, or allow him a graceful exit if they did not. But it could also heighten divisions within the secessionist camp and bring the current campaign to a halt.