Spanish parliament returns amid ongoing coalition talks

  • Spain's parliament sits on Wednesday for the first time since December's inconclusive general election in which Prime Minister Rajoy's People's Party lost its majority but still won the most seats. 

  • In the weeks since the December 20th vote, Mr. Rajoy has been struggling to reach an agreement with any of the opposition parties to form a government. 

  • In recent days there has been speculation that the socialist PSOE party could form an alliance with Podemos - they would be just short of the 176 seats needed for an overall majority but would likely have enough seats (159) to govern. 

The independence movement in Catalonia

Catalan separatists agree last minute deal to form government


  • Junts Pel Sí (JPS) and Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) have agreed a deal to form a majority government in the Catalan parliament - hours before the deadline for doing so was due to pass. 

  • Under the agreement JPS leader Artur Mas will step aside as president of the assembly and be replaced by Carles Puigdemont, who is the mayor of Girona. 

  • CUP refused to support a separatist coalition led by Mr. Mas, leading to deadlock in talks since the Catalan election in late September - JPS needed the support of CUP to have enough seats for a majority. 

  • Parliament voted to appoint Mr. Puigdemont by 70 votes to 63 on Sunday night. 

January 3rd, 2016

  • Catalonia's pro-independence parties look set to fail in efforts to form a government after the CUP, which holds 10 seats, said it would not support the re-election of Artur Mas as president of the Catalan parliament. 

November 11th, 2015

Constitutional Court agrees to hear the Spanish government's appeal


  • The Catalan Parliament, in which pro-independence parties have a majority, voted through the motion on Monday.   

  • Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy immediately ordered the lodging of an appeal with the Constitutional Court to block the motion.

  • The court has, pending an appeal hearing, suspended the motion. 

November 9th, 2015

Catalan parliament votes to begin secession planning

  • The controversial motion (available here in Spanish), put forward by the Junts pel Sí coalition and the Popular Unity Candidacy party, was passed by 72 votes to 63 on Monday. At the heart of the motion was a 'solemn declaration' to begin the process of creating an independent Catalan republic by 2017.

  • In Madrid, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he hoped that Spain's Constitutional Court would declare the motion illegal. The move by Catalonia's pro-independence parties comes at an awkward time for Mr. Rajoy, who is preparing for a general election on December 20th

September 27th, 2015

Separatist parties win majority of seats in Catalan elections

 Junts Pel Sí falls short on its own, but absolute majority within reach under coalition with CUP.


total seats in the Catalan parliament 

seats needed for an absolute majority 

seats won by pro-independence grouping Junts Pel Sí


share of the vote won by Junts Pel Sí

share of the vote won by CUP

seats won by pro-independence CUP, who could form a coalition with JPS. 


Turnout was 77%, well above the turnout of 67% from the last election in 2012. 

The independence parties

The main pro-independence parties came together for Sunday's vote under a joint platform called Junts pel Si, Together for Yes. Raül Romeva is the formal leader of Junts pel Si but Artur Mas will be re-elected as President of Catalonia. Junts pel Si needs the support of the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) to win a majority of seats in parliament. 

Catalonia's economic importance 

Harmonised GDP

millions of euro