Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday called for an early general election for 28 April.

The announcement came after Catalan nationalist MPs rejected Mr Sánchez's budget bill after the government refused to discuss the region's right to self-determination.

Divisions were highlighted on Tuesday, when 12 Catalan separatist leaders and activists went on trial accused of rebellion and sedition over their unrecognised independence referendum in 2017.

Mr Sánchez said that the right-wing parties - the Popular Party and Ciudadanos - had blocked numerous bills in parliament, including important measures to reduce inequality.

BBC reports that it is just eight months since Mr Sánchez took office, heading a minority government reliant on Catalan support. Opinion polls suggest that no single party would win a clear majority. But conservatives and the far-right Vox party are expected to do well.

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