Spanish PM Sanchez meets Catalan separatist president Quim Torra | AFP

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez meets Catalan President Joaquim Torra to discuss ways of resolving the separatist conflict. The talks come just days after Torra said the wealthy northeastern Spanish region would hold a snap election this year following a major dispute between its two ruling parties, Together for Catalonia (JxC) and the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), both staunchly pro-independence. IMAGES

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Spain’s Sanchez makes Catalan dialogue top priority | AFP

Spain’s Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, seeking a leftist political alliance to resume office as prime minister, makes dialogue in restive Catalonia an “absolute priority” as he addresses the Spanish congress. Having failed to land a majority in November’s repeat general election although his Socialists won the most seats, Sanchez faces opposition from right-wing parties ready to call out any sign of a willingness to “sell out” Spain to Catalan separatists.

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Spain’s Vox party leader Santiago Abascal votes | AFP

Leader of Spain’s far-right party Vox Santiago Abascal casts his vote in the country’s fourth general election in as many years amid heightened tensions over Catalonia’s separatist push. IMAGES

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Spanish Popular Party leader Pablo Casado casts his vote | AFP

Spanish Popular Party leader Pablo Casado casts his vote in the country’s fourth general election in as many years amid heightened tensions over Catalonia’s separatist push. IMAGES of Casado voting

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Spain votes in repeat general election amid Catalonia tensions | AFP

Spain votes in its fourth general election in as many years amid heightened tensions over Catalonia’s separatist push, an issue that has fuelled a surge in support for upstart far-right party Vox. IMAGES

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Anti-separatist demonstrators rally in Barcelona | AFP

Anti-separatist demonstrators gather in Barcelona at the call of an association against Catalonia’s independence ‘Sociedad Civil Catalana.’ The rally follows Saturday’s demonstration which saw thousands of separatist demonstrators clash with police in central Barcelona. IMAGES

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Barcelona: Fresh pro-independence demonstration against jailing of Catalan separatist leaders | AFP

Pro-independence demonstrators gather in Barcelona. Catalonia has been gripped by unrest since the controversial Supreme Court verdict on October 14 which unleashed a week of huge demonstrations that quickly turned violent, with angry protesters clashing with riot police. IMAGES

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Catalonia: Pro-independence protest in front of Spanish government delegation in Barcelona | AFP

Dozens of pro-independence protesters gather in front of the Spanish government delegation in Barcelona as Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and the opposition leader visit Barcelona to meet police struggling with Catalan separatist violence. Nearly 600 people have been injured in clashes with police in protests every day since they erupted in the region after Spain’s Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to up to 13 years in jail for sedition over a failed 2017 independence bid.

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Ciudadanos hold rally outside Catalonia’s regional government | AFP

The centre-right pro-union Ciudadanos party, which was born out of opposition to Catalan separatism, holds a rally in front of Catalonia’s regional government headquarters in Barcelona run under the slogan: “That’s enough! Justice and coexistence”.

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General strike in Catalonia as ‘freedom marchers’ walk in Barcelona | AFP

Spain’s protest-hit northeast is gripped by a general strike as thousands of “freedom marchers” converge on Barcelona for a mass show of dissent over the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders. IMAGES

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Police, protesters clash in Catalonia for 3rd night

Rioting raged in Barcelona and several other Catalan towns for a third straight night Wednesday, with police fighting running street battles with protesters angered by lengthy prison sentences for nine leaders of the wealthy region’s drive for independence from Spain. (Oct. 16)

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Wildfires ravage the Catalonia region of Spain | AFP

Firefighters keep working to control a wildfire in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia that has so far affected more than 6.500 hectares (16,000 acres). AEREAL IMAGES of the burnt area

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Catalonia’s separatist leader Quim Torra arrives at Spanish Supreme Court | AFP

Catalonia’s separatist leader Quim Torra arrives at the Spanish Supreme Court in Madrid for the final hearings in the trial of 12 Catalan leaders charged over an independence bid. IMAGES

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Final day of Catalan separatist leaders’ trial begins | AFP

The last day of the high-stakes trial of 12 Catalan separatist leaders over their role in Catalonia’s failed 2017 independence bid begins in Madrid after four months of hearings. IMAGES

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Catalan separatist leaders arrive for trial at Spain’s Supreme Court | AFP

The high-stakes trial of 12 Catalan separatist leaders over their role in Catalonia’s failed 2017 independence bid is due to wrap up after four months of hearings. IMAGES

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Spain’s Socialist leader Sanchez claims election victory

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialists won snap elections Sunday without the necessary majority to govern solo in a fragmented political landscape marked by the far-right’s entry into parliament. The results raise the spectre of another period of instability for Spain, with Sanchez depending on alliances with hostile rivals in an environment that has soured since Catalonia’s failed secession bid in 2017.