Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont couldn’t vote in the election because he’s currently in self-exile in Belgium, but he and his party won yesterday’s elections in Catalonia, exit polls show. This means that Catalonian voters have strongly rebuked the aggressive anti-independence stance of Madrid and the European Union.
In all, 70 out of the 135 seats in Catalonia’s parliament will now be occupied by separatist parties, with Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) being the largest of those parties. The only party that’s larger than Puigdemonts JPC is Ciudadanos (Citizens). Ironically, that’s a unionist party. The reason the unionist lost the elections, however, is that the other unionist parties suffered significant losses.
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called for the election after the previous secessionist Catalan government had declared its independence from Spain. He was, he said, convinced that the region’s supposed “silent majority” would hand him victory.
Not so much. In fact, the secessionists won this election that reached a record high 83 percent of Catalans eligible to vote. So what happened instead is that many Catalans — Rajoy’s infamous “silent majority” — saw the election as a second referendum on their independence. And again the result was the same: they no longer wish to be part of Spain.
Hilariously, mainstream media call the separatists’ victory an “unexpected result.” It goes to show how little the mainstream media and the political elites understand normal voters.
Puigdemont has clearly not lost his fighting spirit in Belgium. He fled to the small European country because he faced arrest and charges of “sedition” if he remained in Spain. From Brussels, he told his supporters in a televised speech that “either Rajoy changes his recipe or we change the country.”
Those supporters went out on the streets of Barcelona, jubilantly chanting “President Puigdemont” while displaying giant Catalan flags when the results of the exit polls started pouring in.
Of course, the results are a real problem for the European Union, which has backed Rajoy and his aggressive approach to Catalonia’s secessionist movement. Puigdemont has already lashed out at the EU by calling it a “club of decadent countries.” Harsh, but true.
After these election results, however, it will be difficult if not downright impossible for the EU to continue their support for Rajoy.