Catalan leader claims win for pro-secession parties

Spanish officials warned in the lead up to Sunday’s vote that Catalans would be stripped of their nationality and could plunge into financial chaos like Greece if they break away.


In this Wednesday, September 23, 2015 photo, a woman attaches an…

Albert Rivera, the leader of the rising centrist party Ciudadanos, said Monday: “Today begins a programme of reform for Spain“.

The threat of Catalonia breaking away from Spain has been a constant source of dispute between Mas and the ruling conservative Popular Party of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, which rejects Catalan independence as unconstitutional. Secessionist demands have surged in the recent economic crisis. The Popular Unity Candidacy party, known as CUP, won 10 seats and has lambasted Mas for invoking unpopular austerity measures.

But CUP had insisted that it would only join an independence bid if secessionist parties won more than 50 percent of the popular vote.

Madrid-based newspapers pointed out that most voters backed parties opposed to independence with leading newspaper El Pais’ front-page headline proclaimed, “The independents win the election but lose the referendum”.

“Some concessions towards Catalonia are likely, a reform of the redistribution of the fiscal balances and further devolution of powers, possibly even greater fiscal responsibilities”, says Barclays.

“We hope that it’s not going to be loggerheads”.

Mas claimed the victory gives his group “enormous strength to push this project forward”.

Pro independence supporters wave “estelada” or pro independence flags during a rally of “Junts pel Si” or “Together for YES” in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, September 25, 2015.

“We have a clear, absolute majority in the Catalan parliament to go ahead”, Mr Mas added. She voted for the Citizens party, which is against independence.

While CUP leader David Fernandez promised his party will help the “Together for Yes” side because both share the common goal of independence, analysts predicted hard negotiations. But differences are already apparent because he has said he wants an immediate declaration of independence rather than the 18-month secession roadmap favored by the “Yes” bloc.

Mas wanted to hold a referendum for independence last November, but the Spanish Constitutional Court declared such a vote illegal after the national government filed a complaint.

Spain’s government has also said secession by Catalonia would disrupt fragile signs of economic recovery for the country struggling with unemployment of 22 percent.

“We are going to appoint someone who has nothing to do with spending cuts, privatisations and corruption”, Banos said.

– The region previously tried to declare independence in the 1930s during the turbulent Second Spanish Republic, but was later brutally suppressed by the regime of dictator General Franco.

Jean-Francois Lisée said it was important for the PQ to send observers to Spain for Sunday’s vote.

Numerous 5.5 million voters had said on Sunday that they did not believe Catalonia would become independent and had used their ballot as a way to press the Catalan and Spanish authorities to discuss those issues.


“This is a process, a road”, said Albert Llorenc, a 51-year-old taxi driver who wore a “barretina”, a traditional Catalan red cap.

Spain: Pro-secession parties in Catalonia win landmark vote