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Catalan separatists ERC says cannot back a Socialist-Podemos deal at this stage

MADRID (Reuters) - Catalan separatist party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya(ERC) on Tuesday said that it was not ready, at this stage, to back a coalition government deal reached on Tuesday by the Socialists and the left-wing Unidas Podemos.

“Right now our position is no,” ERC spokeswoman Marta Vilalta told journalists, according to a translation from Catalan to Spanish by TVE broadcaster.

“If they want something from us they have to sit down and talk to solve a political conflict,” in reference to the Catalan separatist independence movement.

The Socialists’ 120 seats, combined with the 35 won by Unidas Podemos, leave them short of a majority in the 350-seat parliament, and therefore need to seek the support from other parties.

Reporting By Jesús Aguado and Nathan Allen; editing by Ingrid Melander