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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Spain: Catalonia Day Celebrations amidst Growing Political Influence of Regional Parties

Exiled Junts leader Carles Puigdemont has urged Spain to stop legal action against separatists

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SPAIN: Thousands of people were scheduled to celebrate Catalonia’s National Day during a protest in Barcelona later on Monday. In an effort to establish a national administration, the separatist parties in the Spanish region of Catalonia found themselves in the position of kingmakers.

La Diada, the National Day’s activities have seen a decline in participation in recent years as sentiment towards secession from Spain has decreased.

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However, the two Catalan parties are currently in the midst of talks to create a new administration and are hopeful the discussions would help the flagging cause of independence ahead of local elections in 2025.

Catalonia holds the key to state governance, according to the moderate left-wing separatist group Esquerra Republicana Catalana (ERC), led by Catalan leader Pere Aragones. 

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Following an unresolved general election in July, acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez would require the votes of seven legislators from the ardently conservative Junts per Catalunya party and seven parliamentarians from the more moderate Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) party to form a government.

Following the exiled Junts leader, Carles Puigdemont has set stringent requirements for his party’s support in parliament for Pedro Sanchez to maintain his power.

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Puigdemont has urged Spain to stop legal action against separatists but has refrained from calling for a fresh independence vote. Spain will not violate the constitution, according to acting government spokesperson Isabel Rodriguez.

Alberto Nunez Feijoo is set to establish a government on September 27 after his conservative People’s Party (PP) won the majority of votes on July 23. However, his chances are slim as the PP rejects concessions to separatists. 

A Catalan Centre for Public Opinion study found that 42% of respondents supported independence, while 52% preferred being part of Spain. In October 2017, a referendum against independence was launched by Puigdemont’s separatist regional authority, which was mostly avoided by those against it.

Also Read: France’s Emmanuel Macron Asserts Exclusion of Russian Flags from 2024 Paris Olympics


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