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Catalonia Crisis: Spain PM Rajoy Sets Timeline For New Parliament
PM Mariano Rajoy says he hopes Catalonia will have a government "as soon as possible"
December 30th, 2017 | 09:37 AM | 1571 views
Spain's prime minister says the new Catalan parliament should hold its first session on 17 January, ahead of reinstating the region's government.
Mariano Rajoy's announcement comes a week after Catalonia's separatist parties won back a majority in a divisive snap election.
He called the vote in a bid to quash a bid for independence by the region's leaders and end the political crisis.
Analysts say it could take months for a new Catalan government to be formed.
"I hope that as soon as possible we will be able to have a Catalan government that is open to dialogue and able to relate to all Catalans, not just half of them," Mr Rajoy said in an end-of-year address to the nation on Friday.
He reiterated that a vote to select a new Catalan president must take place within 10 days of the new regional parliament convening.
Although the unionist Citizens party (Ciudadanos) had the biggest share of the vote in the 21 December ballot, three separatist groupings headed by ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont retained their parliamentary majority.
However, the parties favouring a split with Spain may struggle to form a government.
Mr Puigdemont is currently in self-imposed exile in Belgium, as he faces arrest in Spain over his role in Catalonia's unilateral declaration of independence. Another separatist leader, Oriol Junqueras, is in prison in Madrid.
Following the independence declaration in November, Mr Rajoy sacked Catalonia's government, dissolved its parliament and stripped the region of its autonomy.
In his speech on Friday Mr Rajoy dismissed the idea that Mr Puigdemont, may try to lead a new government from abroad as "absurd".
courtesy of BBC NEWS
by BBC NEWS
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