Ra­joy vis­its Barcelona to call for unity

The Guardian Weekly - - World roundup -

5 The Span­ish prime min­is­ter, Mar­i­ano Ra­joy, said elec­tions in Cat­alo­nia will help the re­gion re­cover from “the havoc of sep­a­ratism”, dur­ing his first visit to Barcelona since Madrid im­posed di­rect rule.

Ra­joy, pic­tured, vis­ited the Cata­lan cap­i­tal last week­end to show sup­port for his Pop­u­lar party’s cam­paign ahead of re­gional elec­tions next month. His visit comes two weeks af­ter he dis­missed the Cata­lan leader, Car­les Puigde­mont, his govern­ment ern­ment and the par­lia­ment, ment, sus­pended the e re­gion’s au­ton­omy and d called for elec­tions there e on 21 De­cem­ber.

Ra­joy said he had “ex­hausted all roads” af­ter the Cata­lan govern­ment’s uni­lat­eral dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence last month, and called on the “silent ma­jor­ity” to “con­vert their voice into a vote”. Last Satur­day, hun­dreds of thou­sands of Cata­lans protested against the jail­ing of re­gional of­fi­cials over their push for in­de­pen­dence from Spain. The protest fol­lowed the re­lease on bail of Carme For­cadell, the speaker of the Cata­lan par­lia­ment – one of dozens of law­mak­ers sacked by Mad Madrid last month – af­ter postin post­ing bail. Bar Barcelona mu­nic mu­nic­i­pal po­lice put turnout for the m march at 7 750,000, and crowds stret stretched for mor more than 15 b blocks.

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