Elections in Catalonia: who rules now?
In the Catalonian regional elections on the weekend, the Socialists, who are in power in Madrid, received the most votes, securing 23 percent. But the combined results of the separatist parties gives them an absolute majority in terms of votes and seats in the regional parliament. Catalan journalists take very different views of what this outcome should mean for Catalonia's future.
A clear mandate for the separatists
The coalition that is in power in Catalonia has been significantly strengthened by the election results, the Catalan daily El Punt Avui notes:
“For the third time in a row, voters have given an absolute majority to those parties that are in favour of Catalan independence. ... The result is historic because for the first time the combined votes for the separatist forces also make up more than 50 percent of all the votes cast. ... It seems clear that the governing coalition was not punished, as the centralist parties had predicted, and that as of today the pro-independence parties have the task of putting this vote into practice.”
An opportunity for a left-wing coalition
For eldiario.es, the fact that the two parties that cautiously tried to bridge the gap between centralism and separatism, the Catalan Socialists (PSC) and the ERC, have emerged stronger from the elections is a hopeful sign:
“This is good news for the search for transversal solutions in the new legislative period - both because of the willingness on the part of Salvador Illa [of the PSC] to engage in dialogue, and because of the mutual dependence of the Socialists and the ERC if they want to govern in Catalonia and in Spain. This is an opportunity to overcome bloc politics and focus on the big political problems. ... If everyone goes back to doing the same thing with the election results that they have done in the last ten years, we will see the same mistakes repeated and hear the same circular debates that don't get us off the hamster wheel.”