With the Spanish government’s attempt to end Catalan secession by forcing a new election having failed, leading to the election of another majority of pro-secession MPs, King Felipe VI used his Christmas address to warn the new parliament to renounce secessionist ambitions.
The king insisted that a confrontation would “generate discord and uncertainty” in the region. It’s unlikely, given the December campaign making secession the core of the election, that a victorious pro-secession bloc is going to let the matter drop outright.
At the same time, some Catalan secessionist parties did give lip-service to trying to make the break a more negotiated process than the previous effort was, which saw Catalonia hold a vote over Spanish objections, and attempt to secede outright afterwards.
Spanish officials, particularly Prime Minister Rajoy, have long rejected the idea of a negotiated exit, but their trump card of forcing a new election having failed, they may no longer feel they can just try to jail the secessionist leaders as rebels.
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