Vox celebrates 'historic' result in Spanish general election
With 24 seats in Congress, Barcelona included, far-right party vows to defend Spain's unity "until the end"
Pedro Sanchez's Socialists may have won the Spanish general election on Sunday, but arguably the other big winner of the night was the far-right Vox party.
Going from zero to 24 seats in the Spanish parliament, the party led by Santiago Abascal gained representatives in Spain's major cities, from Madrid to Valencia, and even Barcelona.
Despite a fiercely anti-independence message, Vox got a seat in Catalonia, winning 145,000 votes compared with the 198 it got in the last general election in June 2016.
At the same time, while the parties in support of a Catalan republic won a record 22 seats, the pro-independence and anti-fascist Front Republicà gained no seats in Catalonia.
Ignacio Garriga, who won Vox's seat in Catalonia, celebrated a "historic" result and vowed to give a voice to those "Catalan Spaniards who have been silenced for years."
Meanwhile, Abascal told supporters that Vox had arrived in the Spanish parliament "to stay" and pledged that the party would represent "the pride" of being Spanish.
"Twenty-four MPs in Congress will say that Spain's unity is not up for debate, for votes, for discussion; it is to be defended until the end," he added.
With the unionist People's Party (PP) going from 137 to 66 seats, Abascal also regretted that a "popular front" of right-wing parties would no longer be able to form a government.