Catalonia: Mas wins but independence uphill

Difficult talks ahead with radical secessionists Cup

28 September, 18:22

    Catalonia: Mas wins but independence uphill Catalonia: Mas wins but independence uphill

    MADRID - After the victory yesterday of pro-independent parties at regional elections at which they conquered the absolute majority of seats, 72 out of 137, with 47.8% of the vote for outgoing president Artur Mas, the upcoming weeks are likely to be difficult. Mas has promised independence by 2017.

    Mas' list, Junts Pel Si with 62 seats out of 135 did not obtain an absolute majority in the Catalan Parliament and needs to negotiate with the leftist Cup, which garnered 10 lawmakers.

    The negotiations, that must end by the beginning of November when the election of the new Catalan president is scheduled, promise to be difficult. The anti-system radicals of Antonio Banos have said so far they don't want to support the centrist Mas and that they prefer a left-wing candidate from its list like former Green European MP Raul Junqueras.

    Then the real match will start for Catalan separatists against the government of Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy - whose Partido Popular was sharply defeated in the Catalan vote. Rajoy has slammed as illegal the perspective of secession and is ready to place the region under compulsory administration.

    Meanwhile newspapers in Madrid and Barcelona are divided in reading the election's results, which were won by separatists though they failed to reach 50% of the vote. El Pais ran a headline saying that pro-independence parties won the election but failed to obtain a landslide victory. ''The majority of Catalans says no to independence'', wrote El Mundo. ''Catalonia does not want to go away'', said Abs and La Razon stated that ''Mas does not reach his objectives''. Madrid-based papers sided with the Spanish political establishment against independence. In Barcelona, the front-page headline of La Vanguardia was that the yes had won while Punt Avui wrote - ''Listen Europe!''.

    The head of the Podemos-Green list Lluis Rabell asked today not to count his 10% with 11 seats either in favor of the 'yes' or 'no', recalling that his list is made of independents and not pro-independence lawmakers.

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