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Spain's Socialists wounded in key regional vote

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Spain's Socialists wounded in key regional vote

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Voters in the powerful spanish region of Catalonia have rejected the ruling socialists and instead backed a centre-right nationalist party.

Artur Mas who leads the Catalan Convergence and Union coalition has been asked to form a regional government after his CiU won 62 seats out of the 135 seat parliament.

He later told supporters he appreciated all their efforts, not only today but during all the years they had stood by him and his party.

It means the Socialists are out after seven years in power. With national elections due in just over a year, the result is an ominous sign for Prime Minister Zapatero.