When Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy forced an election in the rebel region of Catalonia, the aim was to halt the political chaos after a declaration of independence by separatists that reverberated across Europe. Instead, more upheaval looks set to emerge. It’s going to be tough to discern any real winner from the vote on Thursday following a campaign riddled with mutual suspicion and infighting. The final polls before a blackout period began on Dec. 16 showed the three parties pushing to break away from Spain may win the slimmest of majorities in the 135-seat parliament in Barcelona. The likelihood of securing more than 50 percent of the vote is more remote, though, as is an agreement on who might actually form a government.
Two months since the rebels were slapped down by the Spanish authorities, Catalonia remains divided over if, when and how to cede from Spain. It makes any of the possible coalitions look complicated for a region that accounts for a fifth of Spain’s economy and is too big and important to let drift.
“It will require a great level of creativity and flexibility to get out of this quagmire,” said Guillem Lopez Casasnovas, an economy professor at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. “Even if pro-independence parties win a majority of votes, the evidence of the last two years show that it’s impossible to move ahead when half of the society isn’t with you.”
Full Article: Catalonia’s Post-Crisis Election Looks Messy – Bloomberg.