MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, November 14th 2018 - 02:58 UTC

Catalonia is back at starting point: separatists win a slim majority

Friday, December 22nd 2017 - 10:16 UTC
Full article 5 comments
The unexpected result sets the stage for the return to power of deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont who campaigned from self-exile in Brussels. The unexpected result sets the stage for the return to power of deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont who campaigned from self-exile in Brussels.
“Either Rajoy changes his recipe or we change the country,” Puigdemont, said in a televised speech, flanked by four former cabinet members that fled with him. “Either Rajoy changes his recipe or we change the country,” Puigdemont, said in a televised speech, flanked by four former cabinet members that fled with him.
Unionist party Ciudadanos (Citizens) won the most votes, but other unionist forces, Rajoy's People's Party and the Socialist Party — registered a dismal performance. Unionist party Ciudadanos (Citizens) won the most votes, but other unionist forces, Rajoy's People's Party and the Socialist Party — registered a dismal performance.

Catalonia's separatists look set to regain power in the wealthy Spanish region after local elections on Thursday, deepening the nation's political crisis in a sharp rebuke to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and European Union leaders who backed him. With nearly all votes counted, separatist parties won a slim majority in Catalan parliament, a result that promises to prolong political tensions which have damaged Spain's economy and prompted a business exodus from the region.

 Catalonia's separatists look set to regain power in the wealthy Spanish region after local elections on Thursday, deepening the nation's political crisis in a sharp rebuke to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and European Union leaders who backed him. With nearly all votes counted, separatist parties won a slim majority in Catalan parliament, a result that promises to prolong political tensions which have damaged Spain's economy and prompted a business exodus from the region.
Rajoy, who called the elections after sacking the previous secessionist government, had hoped Catalonia's “silent majority” would deal separatism a decisive blow in what was a de facto independence referendum, but his hard line backfired.

The unexpected result sets the stage for the return to power of deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont who campaigned from self-exile in Brussels. State prosecutors accuse him of sedition, and he faces arrest if he were to return home.

“Either Rajoy changes his recipe or we change the country,” Puigdemont, said in a televised speech. He was flanked by four former cabinet members that fled with him.

At jubilant pro-independence rallies around Barcelona, supporters chanted “President Puigdemont” and unfurled giant red-and-yellow Catalan flags as the results came in.

The result unnerved global markets, contributing to a softer euro and subdued sentiment in stock markets. Opinion polls had predicted secessionists to fall short of a majority.

More than 3,100 firms have moved their legal headquarters outside Catalonia, concerned that the indebted region, which accounts for a fifth of the national economy, could split from Spain and tumble out of the EU and the euro zone by default.

Spain has trimmed its growth forecasts for next year, and official data shows foreign direct investment in Catalonia fell 75% in the third quarter from a year earlier, dragging down national investment.

The EU's major powers, Germany and France, have backed Rajoy's stance despite some criticism of his methods at times.

On Oct. 1, when Catalonia staged an independence referendum, Spain declared it unconstitutional and national police used tear and batons to prevent some Catalans from voting.

The narrow victory for Puigdemont's secessionist camp presents a fresh headache for the EU, which had defended the Spanish judiciary's pursuit of separatist leaders on grounds that they had violated Spain's constitution.

Puigdemont's attempts to gain international support in Brussels have come to nothing so far. He has called the EU a “club of decadent countries” for declining to mediate a solution.

Separatist parties won 70 seats out of 135, with Puigdemont's Junts Per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) party retaining its position as the largest separatist force.

Unionist party Ciudadanos (Citizens) won the most votes, but other unionist forces — Rajoy's People's Party and the Socialist Party — registered a dismal performance.

“What this shows is that the problem for Madrid remains and the secession movement is not going to go away,” said Antonio Barroso, deputy director of research at London-based research firm Teneo Intelligence.

Turnout on Thursday reached a record high with over 83% of eligible Catalans voting.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • EscoSesDoidao

    'Slim majority' ?. Just like the Brexit leave vote then. Well done Catalans, and well done democracy.

    Dec 22nd, 2017 - 11:25 am 0
  • Brit Bob

    PM Rajoy- Gibraltar “this is the such territory in Europe and that affects to our own territorial integrity”, said the Mr Rajoy, saying that Britain had “ignored the mandate” of the Assembly General of the UN. (Daily Telegraph, 26 September 2013)

    As with its claim to Gibraltar, the Spanish say that Catalonia's independence aspirations could undermine its territorial integrity. Gibraltar – Territorial Integrity (1 pg): https://www.academia.edu/29347730/Gibraltar_-Territorial_IntegrityEn resumen,
    But it didn't stop Kosovo from becoming independent.

    Dec 22nd, 2017 - 02:37 pm 0
  • imoyaro

    Looks like the K shill supports the continuing dependency on Spain. Figures...

    Dec 23rd, 2017 - 05:38 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!