>> Catalonia's ousted leader is calling for new talks with Spain after a snap regional election that amounts to a victory for Catalan separatists and a bloody nose for Madrid. Secessionist parties won a slim majority in Thursday's ballot ordered by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who had been hoping to end the political crisis.
Instead, it looks likely to have prolonged it. From his self exile in Brussels, Carles Puigdemont announced himself ready to meet anywhere in the EU other than Spain.>>
> I demand an urgent ratification and Prime Minister Rajoy has agreed to opportunity to take part again in the effort to start finding solutions instead of creating more problems.
>> Rajoy later appeared open to talks but didn't reference Puigdemont by name.>> I'll make a effort to maintain a dialogue with whatever government comes after these elections in Catalonia. I hope there's a government that abandons unilateral decisions and doesn't place itself above the law.>> He also ruled out calling a national election after the upset.
Catalonia is the country's economic powerhouse and Spanish markets have recoiled at the surprise results. Reuters Julien Toyer says what's more worrying is the potential long-term impact on the economy.>> Spain had already cut its gross forecast for 2018. We'll have to see whether the government will want to make a further cut to take into consideration the new situation.
And obviously it's bad news for a country which has still very high unemployment and desperately needs strong growth to put everybody at work.>> The largest share of the vote in Thursday's poll went to the unionist Citizens Party, while Rajoy's party actually lost votes. But to take control of the Catalan parliament, the three main secessionist parties will need to form a coalition.
That could prove tricky with analysts agreeing the election result may have simply extended Catalonia's political chaos.