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Rajoy sets foot in Catalonia to launch PP election campaign

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By Robert Hackwill
Rajoy sets foot in Catalonia to launch PP election campaign
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Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has made his first visit to Catalonia since deposing the regional government to support his Popular Party candidate for President of the Generalitat, Xavier Garcia-Albiol.

Rajoy has called for a massive vote from what he called Catalonia’s “silent majority” to put an end to the Catalan struggle, and “restore freedom and democracy”.

“We want the December 21st election to have a massive turnout so that a new political stage can be set in motion bringing peace, normality and coexistence, respect for the rules of the game and also of financial recuperation,” said Rajoy.

Around 1.300 Popular Party militants took part in this electoral launch, waving Spanish flags to support their leaders. Some believe in a coalition of non-independence parties.

“With other non-independence parties we could achieve a result that can avoid the independence path, which makes no sense and is taking us to a complete failure,” said one PP activist.

“We had a hard time, really, I think both the pro-independence and anti-independence parties,” said another, “But on the 21December we have to go all out to vote and then we will see what happens,”

The pro-independence camp owned the streets of Barcelona on Saturday as they came out in force to march, wave Catalan flags and chant slogans.

And in Brussels hundreds of people rallied on Sunday to demand the release of Catalan politicians still held in Spanish prisons after defying Madrid and declaring independence.