05:03 GMT +316 February 2019
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    Catalan pro-independence supporters display a giant banner at Sant Jaume square in Barcelona, Spain, August 4, 2015

    Spain Likely to Address Catalonia Independence Bid After December Elections

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    Spanish authorities are unlikely to address Catalan independence until the general elections scheduled for later this year, local experts told Sputnik on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Two pro-independence factions secured a majority in the Catalan parliament in a local parliamentary election that saw over 77 percent of the population vote on Sunday.

    "The problem is that in Madrid, both leading parties [People's Party and Spanish Socialist Workers' Party] are preparing the General Elections, set for December, so none of them want to face the problem right now," political scientist Alba Ambros noted.

    Ambros, an independent political scientist and analyst, believes Catalan independence will emerge as a campaign issue in the nationwide election.

    Luis Moreno Fernandez, a research professor at the Spanish National Research Council government agency, agreed that "no major step or decision" is to be expected until after December and questioned whether the two pro-independence groups would find common ground.

    "It would not be easy for CUP [Popular Unity Candidacy], a radical leftist and anti-EU party, to agree with the other majoritarian indepentist coalition, Junts pel Si [Together for Yes]," Fernandez said. "Let us see if they decide to support in the Catalan Parliament the current President Artur Mas, or they would demand a new President for the Catalan Government."

    Ambros further pointed to a disparity in the two pro-independence parties’ popular backing at a combined 47.74 percent of the vote versus other parties that do not seek independence.

    "This is not a victory for them, as it will oblige them to negotiate and force them to wisely manage their plans."

    Both Ambros and Moreno said the best case scenario would be for Madrid and Barcelona to work out a mutually acceptable solution.

    "Catalan nationalists would be willing to listen to any serious proposal for real federalization in Spain."

    The Catalan president and part of the Together for Yes coalition, Artur Mas, has said the latest election results were to be considered an alternative vote on the region’s independence. The Spanish government banned Catalonia’s independence referendum bid last November.


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