Despite a suspended self-government, opposition from the media, military threats from Madrid, a candidates in exile and in prison and continued intimidation from Spain, the latest elections in Catalonia have resulted in pro-independence parties winning a majority in the Catalan parliament. The Madrid government stripped Catalonia of its autonomy and called the election after declaring an October independence referendum illegal. The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had hoped the poll would defeat calls for Catalan independence, but his conservative Popular Party (PP) recorded its worst ever result in Thursday’s vote. Deposed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who is in self-imposed exile in Belgium stated: “This is a result which no one can dispute,” and described it as “a slap” for the Spanish premier. It remains to be seen how the Spanish government will respond to this result but it is clear and the secession movement is not going to just disappear in the way that they had hoped.
Submitted by Alastair Kneale 22/12/2017