People wave Spanish flags during an anti-separatist demonstration for the unity of Spain marking the Spanish National Day in Barcelona on October 12, 2018. / AFP / Josep LAGO
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Catalonia's separatist parties that brought the region to the brink of breaking away from Spain a year ago, shattered their united front this week in a struggle over strategy toward independence.PDeCAT, the party of Catalonia's ousted president Carles Puigdemont who is in self-imposed exile in Belgium, wanted to once again defy Spain's central government by allowing its four regional MPs to vote during the opening session of the assembly despite their suspension.As a result Catalonia's separatist government now has the support of just 61 lawmakers in the 135-seat Catalan Parliament.Even with the backing of the small, radical separatist CUP party, the separatist camp only has 65 MPs down from the absolute majority of 70 seats it won in snap regional elections in December 2017 .With separatist parties now in the minority, the regional assembly rejected proposals close to the independence camp's heart, such as a symbolic proclamation of Catalonia's right to self-determination casting doubt over the viability of Catalan leader Quim Torra's executive.
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