Catalan Socialists Choose Opposition Over Deal with Separatists

Miquel Iceta condemns his party to four more years in opposition by refusing deals with both separatists and unionists.

Catalonia's Miquel Iceta addresses a Spanish Socialist Party congress in Alcalá de Henares, November 11
Catalonia’s Miquel Iceta addresses a Spanish Socialist Party congress in Alcalá de Henares, November 11 (PSOE)

Catalonia’s Socialists have taken themselves out of contention for the next coalition government by refusing deals with parties that, in the words of leader Miquel Iceta, have taken the region “to the brink of the abyss.”

Even if the European Democratic Party and the Republican Left, which jointly ruled Catalonia until the regional government was dissolved by Madrid, renounce secession, the Socialists would still not partner with them, Iceta said in a television interview.

He would not commit to a unionist pact with center-right parties either, thus condemning the Socialists to four more years in opposition.

Left-wing majority

The Socialists governed Catalonia with the support of the Republican Left and small far-left parties from 2003 to 2010.

Polls suggest there could again be a left-wing majority after the election in December, consisting of the Republican Left, the Socialists and Catalonia in Common, an alliance that includes the far left.

Balance

The pro- and anti-independence blocs would each win around 45 percent support with the balance going to Catalonia in Common.

It rejects both independence and Spain’s suspension of Catalan home rule following the October 1 referendum.