No unity ticket for Catalan secessionists

No unity ticket for Catalan secessionists

MADRID - Reuters
No unity ticket for Catalan secessionists

Catalan secessionist parties on Nov. 7 failed to agree on a united ticket to contest a December snap regional election, making it more difficult to rule the region after the vote and press ahead with their collective bid to split from Spain.

Catalonia’s secessionist push has plunged Spain into its worst political crisis in four decades, triggered a business exodus, and forced Madrid to cut its economic forecast.

Catalan political parties had until midnight on Nov. 7 to register coalitions ahead of the Dec. 21 vote, but the two main forces which formed an alliance to rule the region for the last two years did not manage to agree on a new pact in time.

While they could still find an agreement after the vote, political analysts say the lack of a deal on a joint campaign may also trigger a leadership fight at the top of the movement.

Meanwhile, on Nov. 7, the deposed separatist leader, Carles Puigdemont, slammed the European Union for backing Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s bid to quash Catalan secession.

“Will you accept the result of the Catalan referendum or will you continue to help Mr Rajoy in his coup d’etat?” Puigdemont said in Brussels.

Puigdemon was speaking at an event attended by some 200 pro-independence Catalan mayors who had flown there for support.

Meanwhile, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel yesterday denied his government was in “crisis” over the arrival of Puigdemont, an issue which risks reigniting Belgian communal tensions.

“There is a political crisis in Spain and not in Belgium,” Michel told the Belgian parliament, after Flemish separatist members of his coalition government spoke out in support of Puigdemont.