Spain: first session of new Catalan parliament on Jan 17

Spain's prime minister says he intends to call the first session for the new parliament of Spain's restive region of Catalonia on Jan. 17.

Mariano Rajoy made the announcement Friday, just over a week after Catalonia's regional parliamentary elections resulted in separatist parties winning most seats again.

Rajoy had ordered the elections upon firing the regional government and dissolving the previous parliament after it voted in October to declare Catalonia an independent republic. But Rajoy saw his hopes dashed that separatists would not regain a majority.

It remains to be seen if the secessionist parties will be able to form a government. Eight of their 70 elected deputies are either in flight from justice or in jail in Spain, including ousted former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who is in Brussels.