Catalonia's regional election unlikely to heal bitter divisions

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Spain’s PM hopes anti-independence ‘silent majority’ around Barcelona turns out to vote – but crisis could last for decades

They are known as the silent majority, a swath of depoliticised, working-class Catalans living in the industrial towns around Barcelona who, when asked, say they want nothing to do with independence.

In simple terms, these are the people who will cheer Barcelona football stars such as Andrés Iniesta or Gerard Piqué when they wear the club’s colours, and cheer them just as loudly when they don the red shirt of “la Roja”, Spain’s national team. They are far more likely to do that than enter a voting booth.

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#mariano rajoy