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What to Make of Catalonia’s New Pro-Independence Government

MIN READMay 18, 2021 | 16:40 GMT

A man holds up a Catalan pro-independence Estelada flag during a demonstration in Barcelona on May 16, 2021.

(PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

Catalonia's new government will not make any significant unilateral moves toward secession in the short-to-medium term and will instead focus on the region’s economic recovery and the release of secessionist leaders from prison. This will temporarily reduce one of the main sources of political risk in Spain, even as independence will remain the Catalan government’s long-term goal. After three months of negotiations, the pro-independence Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and Together for Catalonia (JxC) parties reached an agreement on May 17 to form a regional government. In a joint statement, the parties said that their goal will be “to govern for all” and “to move towards the common goal of independence in the form of a Catalan Republic.” After the announcement of the agreement, the Spanish government’s spokesperson said that Madrid hopes Catalonia’s pro-independence parties “have learned their lesson” and that the push for independence “only leads to prison.”...

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