Pro-referendum parties win a Catalan elections for the first time

A deep recession, a high unemployment and the negative of Rajoy to give more autonomy have fuelled separatism in wealthy Catalonia, piling political uncertainty on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as he fights a debt crisis that could force Spain to seek an international bailout.

Flying pro-independence flags – a lone star against yellow and red stripes – Catalan voters on Sunday handed 87 seats, almost two-thirds of the local parliament, to four different parties that want a referendum on secession.

Unlike in Scotland, where the government of the United Kingdom has agreed to a 2014 referendum, a Catalan plebiscite on breaking away from Spain could trigger a constitutional crisis and the central government has vowed to block it.

(Source: Reuters)