Catalans elect regional parliament

According to the latest polls neither the separatists nor the unionist parties will win a majority in today's regional elections in Catalonia. The deposed Catalan president and most prominent candidate Carles Puigdemont is still in Brussels. Can this vote settle the row over Catalonia's status?

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Ara (ES) /

Result must be recognised by all sides

Esther Vera, editor-in-chief of the Catalan daily Ara, implores the citizens not to give up hopes of the conflict being resolved politically:

“In view of the anticipated stalemate between different parties and the complexity of forming a governing alliance, many citizens may doubt that there is any point in going to vote. But that would be a mistake. The Catalans - whether for independence or against it - must stubbornly reiterate that this is a political conflict that requires a political solution and can only be managed through democratic means. With the unusually tumultuous mood that prevails right now today's vote will be strongly influenced by protest voters and emotions, making the result unpredictable. But no matter what the outcome, the result must be recognised by all sides.”

El País (ES) /

Back to its role as Spain's motor

El País hopes that the regional election in Catalonia will bring change:

“Now it's up to the citizens to go to the polls in as large numbers as possible, bearing in mind that the separatist nightmare can be best ended by those who respect the Spanish and regional laws and not by those who brought about the chaos. ... Whether Catalonia will resume its traditional role as the economic engine, autonomic mobiliser and moderniser of Spain depends on the outcome of this election. Unfortunately that is by no means guaranteed right now: it depends to a large extent on the behaviour of the voters.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Catalonian protest affects us all

A rebellion that demands answers is behind the separatist ambitions in Catalonia, writes Corriere della Sera:

“We can't just act as if nothing had happened. On the contrary, it's time to ask ourselves how things could have gone so wrong and what the alternatives are to Rajoy's batons, Merkel's stringent austerity and the technocracy of the institutions in order to reduce such tensions. ... Because the times of revolt against the establishment have not come to an end. The economic crisis, the lack of resources, the unrelenting tax burden and the lack of prospects for the young generation were among the triggers of this revolt. These problems unfortunately affect us all. But they demand answers that are not austerity policy, bureaucracy or the preservation of the status quo.”

La Croix (FR) /

Give separatism legitimacy at the ballot box

Guillaume Goubert, editor-in-chief of La Croix, takes an optimistic view of Catalonia's regional elections:

“The ballot box could allow Catalonia to progress more than violence will. In any event that's what the example of Corsica suggests. As long as the demands for autonomy and independence were expressed through violence nothing much happened, because it was easy for the French authorities to pass them off as inadmissible. Since the attacks on the island came to a halt the calls for autonomy have become more legitimate, crowned most recently by a large electoral victory. The future must yet be constructed but it can be worked on in calm.”

El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

New faces needed

Because the results of the election are expected to be very close El Periódico de Catalunya believes two things are necessary:

“If the polls aren't completely off track there will have to be a second round of voting to get Catalonia out of the present deadlock. The elections on December 21 can only be a prelude to other elections without extravagant lists and inflated emotions. Resolving the Catalan crisis will require new faces and names. At the moment the multicoloured lists feature only those who were part of the problem and now want to be part of the solution. Impossible.”

ABC (ES) /

Catalans must bury separatism

The centralist daily ABC urges voters to put an end to the separatists escapades:

“Catalonia has a unique chance now to give a majority of votes to those parliamentarians who are for respecting the constitution and ending the separatist nightmare that is leading the region to its ruin. ... The absurd experience of the October 1 [referendum] must not serve as a point of reference for anything. ... The Catalans will vote freely, and if they err again by giving the separatists a majority they should know that Article 155 [with which Madrid suspended the regional government] remains in force because a unilateral, anachronistic and damaging secession is prohibited by law.”