Inauguration of Catalonian government ends Spain's direct rule

Newly elected and former Catalan Prime Minister Qim Torra and Carles Puigdemont hold a press conference in Berlin on May 15- Puigdemont caused the government shutdown after declaring independence from Spain in October

Newly elected and former Catalan Prime Minister Qim Torra and Carles Puigdemont hold a press conference in Berlin on May 15- Puigdemont caused the government shutdown after declaring independence from Spain in October

Catalan authorities announced their new cabinet on Friday, paving the way for Madrid to end direct rule over the region by excluding four nominees under investigation for their role in its independence drive.

The oath was taken by the head of Generalitat Kim Torr, which, after the oath has proposed new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to start negotiations.

Catalonia's new leader, Mr Quim Torra, said he was committed to achieving independence for the region and wants to enter talks with Mr Sanchez. Rajoy is the first Spanish prime minister to be toppled by a no-confidence motion.

The members of Catalonia's former government are to be tried on charges including rebellion.

The region's 13 new councilors were sworn in during an official ceremony in Barcelona.

Rajoy imposed direct rule on the region in October after sacking its government following an independence referendum that Spanish courts declared illegal.

Sanchez, the leader of Spain's Socialist Party, came to power after he successfully ousted predecessor Mariano Rajoy, who lost a no-confidence vote in parliament on Friday.


"Our "Sure" to Sanchez is a "No" to Rajoy", is how Joan Tarda of Catalan pro-independence celebration Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) put it in parliament. It is unclear whether his government can survive with only 84 out of 350 representatives of Spain's Congress belonging to his Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE).

Theoretically, Sanchez will govern until mid-2020, when the parliamentary election is held.

The 55-year-old former editor has been under pressure from some segments of his own separatist camp to adopt a more conciliatory stance to allow a new Catalan government to take office and end Madrid's direct rule.

Mr Sánchez has recognised Catalonia and the Basque Country to be nations within Spain, not just regions.

Separatists won a December election and chose fervent separatist Quim Torra as regional chief.

Spain is the eurozone's No. 4 economy and an influential member of the European Union.

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