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Catalan vote represents willingness to succeed

Voters in Spain's Catalonia region voiced their desire to separate from the rest of the country during regional elections Sunday, but remain disunited about which political party is going to lead the split. Various separatist parties gained seats in the local parliament, but no one party gained enough for a two thirds majority that would have allowed for a swift referendum on independence. Artur Mas, the winning candidate for the right of center separatist party CiU said now all Catalan parties will need to work together towards their shared goal of statehood. (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) ARTUR MAS, CONVERGENCE AND UNION LEADER, SAYING: "People have spoken. We submit ourselves to the verdict of the ballot box. This is the will of the people of Catalonia. We accept it as well as we accept the consequences of the result. It means we will be the leaders of this new government, but we will need another force or other forces to take responsibility as well. They will also have to read these results in the right way as their responsibilities will be more than what they had so far." Catalans, who speak their own language and have an economy roughly as big as Portugal, see themselves as distinct from the rest of Spain. Still, historical and deep seeded disagreements within the Catalan political parties has so far prevented the region from presenting a unanimous front to the federal government in Madrid. With Spain in the midst of a recession expected to last through 2013, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is already struggling with a record 25 percent unemployment and massive street demonstrations against his austerity measures.

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