May 2015

Alternative left wins Barcelona, Catalonia faces political changes

Marc Sanjaume's picture

The results of the local elections in Catalonia could be a turning point for Catalan politics with some important implications. The local elections occurred in a context of polarisation over the Catalan self-determination process, with Catalan elections on the horizon (unofficially called for the next September 27th), but also in one of indignation against the ruling parties in Madrid and Barcelona due to the effects of the economic crisis and austerity plans. The defeat in Barcelona of the ruling party CiU by Barcelona en Comú, a coalition of post-communists, social movements, and the new state-wide political force Podemos inspired by the Indignados Movement means a historical result for the alternative left that is now in position to rule the city and will probably need the support of the leftist secessionists of ERC and CUP.

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Is Catalonia’s bid a fad or a fixture?

Toni Strubell's picture

Just recently I have read about and been in contact with a number of English, American and European observers of the Catalan sovereignty issue who seem confused. They are not sure if they are faced by a momentary fad, fever or frenzy that time will “cure” or by a prospect of severe and lasting change. In some cases I have been able to politely suggest that the comfortable pro-independence majority in the Catalan Parliament might be indicative of quite a solid phenomenon, as are the seven or eight years of massive street marches which, incidentally, are showing no signs of flagging. Be it as it may, I think that some fresh on-the-spot views on the Catalan issue might be welcomed here and there.

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