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Catalonia looks to the future after regional elections


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Catalonia looks to the future after regional elections

Catalonia may have voted, but despite the fact that the separatist groups won 72 seats, uncertainties remain.

The grouping Junts pel Si or Togther for Yes, did not get an absolute majority.

It will need the ten-seat support of the far-left Candidacy for Popular Unity (CUP) in order to form a government. However, they do not want to work with the outgoing head of the Catalan government, Artur Mas: “We need to find out if 72 deputies can, together, put together a road map which will lead to the declaration of the state of Catalonia.”

On the streets, there are mixed opinions about the future of the Catalan government.

“If the CUP leaders are consistent with their political programme and with their opinion of Artur Mas, then he could not remain in power. Catalonia will then be in a very delicate and difficult situation.” said one man.

However, those who voted for the Junts pel Si are in no doubt: “It will be hard, but we will achieve our objective. We cannot continue like this, in my opinion” said another woman.

For other Catalans, the victory has a sour taste:
“Independence makes no sense. But what can we do. If they want to split.” said a third.

The electoral victory of the pro-independence Junts pel Si raises several questions for politics in the region. Euronews has spoken to Lluis Bassets, Deputy Editor of El Pais newspaper and head of the Catalan edition.

Cristina Giner, euronews: “What is Junts pel Si going to do now?”

Lluis Bassets, Deputy Editor El Pais: “We might think that with these results, Junts pel Si will try to form a government presided over by Artur Mas. It seems that Esquerra Republicana and Convergencia already had a system of government in mind when they decided to draw up a joint list. The problem now is to put together a parliamentary majority, and they can’t get that with the votes or the abstention of the CUP. I think the problem will be solved quickly. The CUP is a formation that has already acted in numerous cases with variations in its voting geometry; it could vote for, against or abstain, definitively express a very nuanced position with its vote, of support for independence but in disagreement with Artur Mas where the cuts and corruption are concerned. That is what I think will happen in the next stage.”

euronews: “What impact could these results have on Spain’s general elections in December?”

Bassets: “These elections send a very strong message to the whole of Spanish public opinion. They tell the People’s Party, which has been largely a source of the problem, that it has not been able to deal with or solve this problem, and that, on the contrary, change is coming around, and that a new force in the form of Ciudadanos — which has a lot of support in Catalonia, to the extent that it has become the foremost opposition party — is capable of addressing the rest of Spain and at least becoming a part of the solution. For the People’s Party it’s a total defeat, also for Mariano Rajoy, in terms of how he’s gone about doing things, his spirit and the messages he’s used on Catalonia.”

euronews: “What about the European question?”

Bassets: “I think that with the European question and the international question it will be difficult to change things a lot, on the approach that all the governments and institutions have taken, in considering this an internal matter. Taking into account that there is a general election just around the corner and a change in majorities’ profiles, a deep change of government, in which the Catalan theme will almost be the main one. I don’t think that the approach of European governments will vary much on this subject, nor the approach of any international institution.”

euronews: “We’ve talked about the political and economic, but what about the emotional side of these results?”

Bassets: “The People’s Party has been able to verify firsthand the emotional sorts of problems that trigger bad management of a conflict where there are many interests at stake. The main virtue of these interests is that they are measurable and we can make pacts with them. The problem these feelings have is that there is there is no way to agree over them. I think that there are probably very deep wounds, but if we manage to translate the conflict into quantitative terms, interests and areas of competence, legal declarations, and if we manage to do this very swiftly, I think that we still have the time to recover all the hurt feelings.”

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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