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Spain: PM calls December elections, campaigns against secession

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Spain: PM calls December elections, campaigns against secession

<p>Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy says he will not seek to continue as prime minister if his People’s Party (PP) does not win an absolute parliamentary majority in December’s general election.</p> <p>However, when questioned over whether the PP would enter into a coalition, his answers remained vague.</p> <p>A crushing economic crisis, austerity measures and a rise in unemployment have seen the right-wing party lose support.</p> <p>“One of the most intense legislative terms of our democracy ends and I’m proud to say that our country showed energy and an extraordinary ability to overcome a difficult situation in a record time,” Rajoy told the press.</p> <p>In power since 2011, Rajoy and his cabinet agreed to dissolve parliament in preparation for a December 20, 2015, vote</p> <p>Opinion polls suggest the election will prompt a change in Spanish politics, with the new centre-right Ciudadanos and anti-austerity Podemos likely to gain ground.</p> <h3>Catalan independence?</h3> <p>Two main topics in the PP’s campaign to regain votes will be the economy and the question of a referendum on Catalan independence – something Rajoy staunchly opposes.</p> <p>“I cannot order a referendum that wants to do away with the nation’s unity,” he said. “This cannot be decided by just a few people in a part of Spain. It has to be decided by Spain in its entirety.”</p> <p>The northeastern region of Catalonia has long-threatened to hold a vote on secession from Spain and independentests emerged on top in <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2015/09/23/more-important-than-football-catalonia-s-elections-explained/">recent regional elections</a>. One such politician is Carme Forcadell, the newly-elected President of the Catalan parliament.</p> <p>“Long live the sovereign people and long live the Catalan Republic,” she declared upon the opening of the regional parliament.</p>