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Spain newspaper El Pais launches site in Catalan

07 october 2014, 13:41

 Spain's top-selling newspaper El Pais launched an online edition in Catalan on Monday, challenging competitors in Catalonia at a time of intense interest over the drive for independence in the region, AFP reports.

In a challenge to the top-selling Catalan daily La Vanguardia, the Madrid-based daily launched elpais.cat, with content tailored for Catalan readers as well as general Spanish news.

El Pais already has editions in English and Portuguese as well as Spanish.

In an editorial introducing its Catalan edition on Monday it said its policy of "linguistic diversity" marked a commitment to "dialogue and understanding between the political representatives of Catalonia and of Spain overall".

Catalan leaders are locked in a tense standoff with Madrid over their drive to hold a vote on November 9 on whether the rich northeastern region should be independent from Spain.

Spain's conservative government says the move is unconstitutional and has managed to block it for the time being by appealing to the Constitutional Court.

The centre-left El Pais has the biggest circulation of any newspaper in Spain at 292,000 copies, far ahead of its nearest competitor, the centre-right El Mundo with 172,000.

La Vanguardia, which publishes editions in Catalan and Spanish, has the third-highest circulation of daily newspapers in Spain, with 152,000 copies .

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