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Last Updated: Monday, 19 June 2006, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Press cool on Catalan vote
Spanish press

With only half of Catalans voting in Sunday's autonomy referendum, papers in the region are cautious about the result, which saw 74% backing the plan.

Catalan dailies call on the parties to bear the relatively low turnout in mind when formulating policy for the future.

National papers are more critical of the poll, with one arguing that Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero - a supporter of the plan - has reaped "the greatest failure" of his time in office.

Barcelona's LA VANGUARDIA

Catalonia has just given itself a new statute that will have to be the key to its future... Leaders are now needed who know how to use it with regard to the citizens' needs and wishes, in order to resolve society's problems.

Barcelona's EL PERIODICO

The abstention by half of Catalonia in the referendum gives the parties cause for reflection, as they did not succeed in mobilising citizens... It is a fact which none of them can capitalise on.

Girona's EL PUNT

A new historical phase begins today in which the parties will have to reflect deeply and calmly on their policy, in order not to lose for good the necessary support of the citizens.

Madrid's EL PAIS

The two parties that advocated the "No" vote, the Popular Party and Republican Left of Catalonia, obtained a mediocre result, gaining barely more than 20% of the vote... It is no surprise that they were quick to seek to devalue the results, citing the abstentions.

Madrid's EL MUNDO

Far from being a demand from Catalans, the new statute was an undertaking by the political class in the region, dominated by the nationalists. There is no doubt that the low turnout is a protest vote against that in-bred political class.

Madrid's ABC

As for the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party) and the government of Rodriguez Zapatero, they have reaped the greatest failure of their term in office... They have weakened the state at a time when the nationalists' insatiable ambitions and Eta's renewed hopes required a strong and cohesive institutional system.

San Sebastian's GARA

Faced with the simplistic argument that the public chose the beach instead of the ballot box, it is at least appropriate to ask why. And to the environmental analysis must be added underlying factors like the lack of response to the call for nationhood. It seems unacceptable to draw a line under the matter by saying the "Yes" vote won, without bearing in mind the huge reservations shown by the public about the form and the content of this statutory reform.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




SEE ALSO
A tale of two Spanish cities
11 Feb 06 |  From Our Own Correspondent
The press in Spain
25 Nov 05 |  Europe

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