Thumbs up from Carles Puigdemont.

21-12-2017Francois Lenoir

Pro-secessionist parties in Catalonia have secure a small, combined majority at the election that was called by Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy

JuntsXCat, the party of exiled ex-president Carles Puigdemont, gained 34 seats of the 135 in the Catalonia parliament; the Esquerra Republicana Catalunya of imprisoned former vice-president Oriol Junqueras, 32 seats; and the CUP four.

These three groupings therefore have a combined total of 70 seats, sufficient for a majority if they were to form a coalition but with only around 47.5% of the vote.

Ciudadanos, with over 25% of the vote, secured the most seats - 36 - while the other unionist parties, the PSC (PSOE in Catalonia) and the Partido Popular, won seventeen and four seats respectively.

CatECP, Podemos in Catalonia, who have considered themselves to be potential kingmakers, gained eight seats.

The turnout in the election was exceptionally high - almost 82%.

The result is a defeat for Rajoy, as it was for his party, the Partido Popular. Its four seats are seven fewer than it had previously held. Xavier Albiol, the leader of the PP in Catalonia, admitted that "it’s been a very bad result for PP but also for the future of Catalonia".

From Brussels, Puigdemont said: "As Catalan president I wish to congratulate people for delivering an indisputable result. We have won this election in exceptional circumstances, with candidates in prison, with the government in exile and without having the same resources as the state."

Inés Arrimadas, the leader of Ciudadanos, stated: "We have sent a message to the world that a majority in Catalonia is in favour of the union with Spain. For the first time, a constitutionalist party has won a Catalan election."

The election, insofar as it was akin to a further referendum on independence, has merely emphasised the division in Catalonia. The secessionist parties may have failed to gain at least 50% of the vote, but their combined performance has essentially returned Catalonia to the situation before Puigdemont's declaration of independence and the Spanish government's invoking of Article 155. The pressure is now all on Rajoy, who might wish to heed the words of Xavier Domènech of Catalunya en Comú-Podem (Podemos): "This country needs to enter a new stage. These elections show that the central government has to enter into a real dialogue." Whether it will is another matter.

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Frank / Hace over 3 years

In Spain at least, Corruption and Government should be one word......

+5-

Richard Pearson / Hace over 3 years

Tom, which corrupt government are you referring to ? The Catalan one which used to skim 3% off all government contracts or the socialist one in Andalucía which pocketed 50% of the central governments subsidised training courses ?

+1-

Tom / Hace over 3 years

Here come the scaremongers and defeatists who can’t think for themselves need to be told what to do I agree with mike corrupt government needs to be put straight

+0-

Richard Pearson / Hace over 3 years

A lot more than most people, especially Mike, seem to realise.

We will see a lot of companies, including possibly SEAT, which is owned by Volkswagen, moving head office, as over 3.000 companies have already done, to somewhere else in Spain during the coming weeks and months.

The tense situation could also have negative effects on the Balearic tourism industry.

+0-

Henry James / Hace over 3 years

It looks as though the brown stuff has just hit the fan big time now.

+6-

Richard Pearson / Hace over 3 years

The PP gained 3 seats, and not 4, as mentioned in this article.

+6-

Richard Pearson / Hace over 3 years

A misleading article. If it had been like Brexit, in other words, a referendum, the unionists would have won, as they gained more votes, but due to the lopsided voting system, where rural votes count for more than urban votes, they achieved fewer parliamentary seats. I suppose it could be compared to the US voting system.

+4-

Mike / Hace over 3 years

Just like brexit oh but we didn’t mean it the people don’t know what they are doing absolute TOSH well done Catalonia just like the people of the U.K. we have had enough of corruption ,rip off politicians and fit up merchants in the police who think they are untouchable,

+1-