Catalonia’s president calls for September snap elections

Catalonia’s president calls for September snap elections

HomeEuropeMore Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:56PM

Catalan President Artur Mas has called for snap elections, centered on the region’s independence from Spain, to be held this year.

“There will be elections after the summer… on September 27, 2015, to be precise,” Mas said at a news conference on Wednesday.

The president made the remarks following an agreement with leader of Catalonia’s separatist Republican Left of Catalonia political party about holding the ballot.

“The climate of consensus (between the region’s political parties) had been growing weaker,” said Mas, “but today, happily that has changed.”

Before the announcement, elections were not due until 2016.

On November 9, Mas went through with a symbolic independence referendum, despite the polls being blocked by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

According the region’s government, 2.3 million of the 6.3 million voters eligible to vote participated in the November referendum, almost 80 percent of whom endorsing independence from Spain.

The wealthy northeastern region of Spain has a population of 7.6 million people, accounting for almost one-fifth of the country’s economy, and has been seeking independence for years.

Many Catalans believe their economy would be more prosperous on its own, complaining that a high portion of their taxes goes to the central government in Madrid.

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