Quebec sovereigntists rejoice over Catalan pro-independence victory

"It is exciting to see all these people working toward their dream of freedom," says Parti Québécois Leader Pierre Karl Péladeau.

Parti Québécois and Québec Solidaire both issue statements following vote

Junts Pel Si (Together For Yes) supporters wear pro-independence "Estelada" flag shirts during a gathering to follow election results on Sunday. (Andrea Comas/Reuters)

Quebec sovereigntists are celebrating the victory by pro-independence parties in the Catalan regional elections in Spain.

"It is exciting to see all these people working toward their dream of freedom,"  Parti Québécois Leader Pierre Karl Péladeau said in a statement.

Carole Poirier, the PQ's spokesperson on international relations, called the victory "impressive."

Poirier was in Barcelona serving as the party's official representative for the election. She said the result shows that uniting "political and civic force" produces positive results.

Québec Solidaire also sent out a release following the election, with MNA Amir Khadir calling it a victory for all "freedom-loving peoples."

Pro-independence forces in Quebec also tried to capitalize on the secession movement in Scotland, which ended with a No vote in a referendum last September

In Spain, the "Together for Yes'' group of secessionists headed by regional government president Artur Mas won 62 seats in the 135-member regional parliament on Sunday.

Mas says the result gives Catalonia's new government a mandate to seek independence from the rest of Spain, despite the fact that the constitution forbids it.

The strong pro-independence showing dealt a blow to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, three months before a national election.

His centre-right government, which has opposed attempts to hold a referendum on secession, has called the separatist plan "nonsense" and vowed to block it in court.

Many Catalans who favour breaking away from Spain say their region, which represents nearly a fifth of Spain's economic output, pays too much in taxes and receives less than its fair share of government investment.

Independence sentiment grew during Spain's near economic meltdown during the financial crisis.

Spain's constitution does not allow any region to break away, so the prospect of an independent Catalonia remains highly hypothetical.

with files from Associated Press and Reuters


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