Catalan vote fuels independence drive

Catalan separatist parties say their victory in regional elections on Sunday gives them a mandate to push for independence from Spain, the BBC reports.

The Madrid government has reaffirmed its opposition to a vote on secession, noting that nationalists failed to get a majority of Catalonia’s popular vote.

The main separatist alliance and a small pro-independence party won 72 of the 135 regional parliament seats.

Despite their parliamentary majority, separatists got 47.8% of votes cast.

Catalonia has 7.5 million people and provides about one-fifth of Spain’s national output (GDP).

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