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Spain’s Socialists Celebrate ‘New Era’ in Catalonia After Election Victory

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The recent victory of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) in Catalonia’s regional parliamentary elections marks a significant shift in the political landscape of the region. The PSOE’s win, with 42 out of 135 seats, breaks the decade-long majority enjoyed by pro-independence parties, showing support for Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s efforts to normalize relations with Catalonia. This victory is seen as a vindication of Sanchez’s controversial policies, such as granting pardons for convictions related to the failed 2017 breakaway bid led by Carles Puigdemont.

Despite coming in second with 35 seats, Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya party, along with other separatist parties, fell short of retaining their absolute majority. The turnout for the elections was low at 58 percent. The governing PSOE party, with an increase of nine seats from the last election, looks set to form a left-wing alliance with smaller parties to establish a new regional government. This coalition could include parties like the radical left Comuns Sumar and the moderate independence party ERC.

While PSOE leader Salvador Illa is optimistic about the new era for all Catalans, Puigdemont has expressed his intention to form a pro-independence minority government. He believes he can assemble a coherent majority despite not achieving an absolute one. Puigdemont, who campaigned from France, is hopeful that legal troubles will be cleared due to the recent amnesty approved by Spain’s parliament for him and other separatists. This move is part of Sanchez’s ongoing efforts to reduce tensions in Catalonia and heal the wounds caused by the previous political crisis.

The support for secession in Catalonia has been declining since the illegal breakaway bid in 2017, leading to a shift in the political landscape that culminated in the recent elections. With over 5.7 million eligible voters, the outcome of the elections reflects the changing sentiments in the region. Puigdemont’s campaign from France and his determination to return to Spain after the election indicate his continued involvement in Catalonia’s political scene. Despite the challenges, the recent election results have set the stage for a new chapter in Catalonia’s political journey.

The outcome of the recent elections in Catalonia suggests a significant departure from the pro-independence sentiment that has dominated the region for over a decade. The victory of the PSOE and their potential alliance with other parties to form a new government highlights a shift in the political dynamics of Catalonia. While the separatist parties have not been able to maintain their majority, their presence in the regional parliament ensures that the push for independence will continue to be a significant factor in the region’s politics.

Overall, the recent elections in Catalonia signal a new era for the region, with the potential for a left-wing alliance to lead the government. The victory of the PSOE and the challenges faced by separatist parties reflect the evolving political landscape in Catalonia. Despite differing opinions and approaches, both sides seek to navigate a path forward that addresses the needs of all Catalans. As Catalonia moves into this new chapter, the focus will be on building a government that can effectively address the complex issues facing the region while working towards a more inclusive and prosperous future.

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