WION Web Team Catalonia, Spain
Dec 22, 2017, 01.50 AM
Catalan separatists have won a landmark election with nearly all votes counted, separatist parties have won a slim majority in the Catalan parliament.
As soon as the results began pouring in pro-independence supporters came out on the streets in Barcelona chanting "President Puigdemont".
"Either Rajoy changes his recipe or we change the country," Puigdemont said in a televised speech.
EU countries Germany and France, have backed prime minister Rajoy's stance despite criticism.
The elections which had seen a record 99.6 per cent turnout was being seen as a virtual referendum on Catalonia's future within Spain.
Puigdemont's spokesman told Reuters in a text message: "We are the comeback kids."
However, unless three pro-independence lists fail to clinch a deal to work together in the coming months, they will rule Catalonia with 70 of the 135 seats in parliament -- two less than their previous tally of 72.
"This is a result which no one can dispute," Carles Puigdemont said from self-imposed exile in Belgium.