Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has urged Catalans to oust separatists from their regional parliament in the early election he has called for next month.
Mr Rajoy has told members of his conservative Popular Party in Barcelona that “we want a massive turnout to open up a new period of normalcy”. His visit to Catalonia’s main city was his first to the region since he used extraordinary powers to stifle its secession push.
After Catalonia’s parliament voted on October 27 in favour of a declaration of independence, Mr Rajoy responded by firing its government, dissolving the parliament and calling the early election for December 21.
He said: “It’s urgent to return a sense of normality to Catalonia and do so as soon as possible to lower the social and economic tensions.”