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Aston University’s Caroline Gray: ‘With the Catalan issue, it has become difficult for a minority party to rely upon the support of regionally-based parties’

Spain’s prime minister on Friday called an early general election for April 28, the third in less than four years, after his draft budget was rejected in parliament over the Catalan secession crisis. “Between two options—not doing anything and continuing without a budget, or... giving Spaniards their say—I choose the second,” Pedro Sanchez told reporters, before announcing the date. Sanchez took power just over eight months ago after he ousted his conservative rival in a dramatic parliamentary no-confidence vote, but it has been a turbulent term. At the head of a fragile minority government, the 46-year-old had to rely on the support of unlikely bedfellows in parliament, including the far-left Podemos party, Basque nationalist lawmakers and—crucially -- 17 Catalan separatist MPs.

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