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To pact or not to pact: CiU leaders face dilemma in Catalonia

Center-right bloc mulls agreements with anti-immigration Plataforma per Catalunya

The CiU Catalan nationalist bloc continued discussing on Wednesday whether it should form pacts with a xenophobic party, Plataforma per Catalunya, in municipalities where it didn't win majorities in the May 22 elections.

CiU leaders, who are divided over the issue, are facing a political dilemma. In the town of El Vendrell, Tarragona, the CiU was expected to form a coalition with Plataforma to prevent the Socialists from governing there. But at the same time, the CiU-led Catalonia regional government has filed a complaint against the party for "spreading falsehoods" during the race.

El Vendrell Mayor Benet Jané of the CiU could serve another term if the nationalist bloc approves the Plataforma partnership. According to Jané, the CiU regional leadership has given him carte blanche to seek the coalition despite the fact that leaders have asked their candidates to respect the parties who won the most votes in the local races.

In El Vendrell, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) captured the majority of the ballots: six council seats while the CiU won six and the Plataforma took five. The Popular Party and Catalan Republican Left (ERC) won two and one seats respectively.

PSC candidate Martí Carnicer has already offered to form an association with the CiU.

Plataforma candidates campaigned on a staunch anti-immigration platform, which included proposals to keep illegal migrants from registering on municipal rolls and forcing those who are unemployed to return to their home countries if they still don't hold a job when their benefits run out.

The Catalan government has filed a complaint against the party for publishing a brochure that showed a 4,000-euro check issued to "Mohamed Alcabir Amir," suggesting that the payee had been receiving government benefits.

Along with the check, party leader Josep Anglada wrote several messages such as "charity begins at home" and "there is no more room for any more, whether legal or illegal."