MADRID: Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Tuesday he hopes to defeat separatists in next month’s Catalan election, which will be dominated by regional lawmakers’ independence drive, calling for a “massive” turnout by voters, reports AFP.
“We’re going to work so that independence groups don’t win,” Rajoy told Spanish radio.
The Catalan independence crisis has triggered alarm in Brussels as the European Union deals with the fallout of Brexit and more than 2,400 businesses have moved their legal headquarters out of the region as uncertainty persists.
Rajoy dismissed the government of Catalan ex-leader Carles Puigdemont last month over his independence bid, suspending the regional parliament and organising a new election.
The prime minister has been rallying support for his Popular Party (PP) in the December 21 election in Catalonia—a region that remains deeply divided over independence despite its parliament’s declaration.
The PP only managed to finish fifth in Catalonia’s 2015 election, which saw pro-separatist groups gain power in the region of 7.5 million people.