Catalan leader hopes November 10 election to boost independence drive

By Joan Faus BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalonia's secessionist movement aims to get over 50% of the region's vote in a Nov. 10 Spanish election after mass protests over the jailing of nine separatists, which would strengthen its push for independence, the regional government head told Reuters on Tuesday

Reuters October 23, 2019 03:14:31 IST
Catalan leader hopes November 10 election to boost independence drive

Catalan leader hopes November 10 election to boost independence drive

By Joan Faus

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalonia's secessionist movement aims to get over 50% of the region's vote in a Nov. 10 Spanish election after mass protests over the jailing of nine separatists, which would strengthen its push for independence, the regional government head told Reuters on Tuesday.

"It's obvious that the goal is to surpass the 50% (of support for pro-independence parties) and, if possible, in the next Spanish parliamentary (elections)," Quim Torra said in an interview at his government palace in Barcelona, calling the independence process "irreversible."

Catalan separatist parties have fallen short of 50% of the vote in recent elections, although they still hold the majority of seats in the Catalan parliament after garnering 47.5% in 2017's regional election.

Torra reiterated his call for talks with Madrid to start as soon as possible on an independence referendum in Spain's most economically important region.

Asked about the possibility of such a plebiscite being held without Spain's consent, Torra said he was seeking a wide agreement among Catalan parties on a road map towards the region's independence, so no options were ruled out.

The wealthy northeastern region was rocked by nine consecutive nights of protests after nine Catalan separatist leaders were convicted of sedition for leading a failed 2017 bid for independence that included holding a banned referendum.

(Reporting by Joan Faus in Barcelona; Writing by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.