Nationalists Make Gains in Spain’s Catalonia

Posted November 26th, 2012 at 10:00 am (UTC-5)
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Nationalist parties in Spain's northeastern region of Catalonia won local parliamentary elections Sunday, but failed to get a mandate for a referendum on independence.

Official results show the majority of seats will go to nationalist parties, but the alliance of incumbent regional president and pro-independence candidate Artur Mas fell short of a majority in the 135-seat parliament.

The Socialist Party (PSC), which does not favor independence, lost eight seats.

Mas thanked his alliance for its support but acknowledged that it now must share responsibility for governing.

The Mas government in Catalonia called early elections as part of a power struggle with the central government run by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Catalonia, which is home to factories, banks and other industries, is responsible for around one-fifth of Spain's economic output.

Many Catalans believe the central government gives back too little, considering the region's contributions.