World Bulletin / News Desk
Spain celebrated its national day Thursday with a show of unity in the face of Catalan independence efforts, a day after the central government gave the region's separatist leader a deadline to abandon his secession bid.
To mark the national holiday, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and King Felipe VI attended a traditional military parade in central Madrid.
Armed forces marched along Madrid's Paseo de la Castellana boulevard to commemorate the day that Christopher Columbus first arrived in the Americas in 1492.
But events were overshadowed by the crash of a Eurofighter jet, which went down on its route back to base after taking part in the display, killing its pilot.
Separate pro-unity rallies, including one by members of a far-right movement, were organised in the Catalan capital Barcelona.
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The final vote on the legislation is to be made in the upper house Senate after the lower house National Assembly overwhelmingly approved it last week.
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