Madrid’s direct rule ends with new Catalan regional government in place

A new regional government has been formed in Spain’s Catalonia region, ending 7 months of direct rule by the central government in Madrid. After months of tension with the central government, a new cabinet led by separatist Quim Torra was sworn in yesterday.

It came as Spain’s new prime minister took office the same day. Socialist Pedro Sanchez replaced Mariano Rajoy, who had been ousted following a corruption scandal.

Last October, the Spanish government withheld Catalonia’s autonomy, after the region unilaterally declared independence from Spain. The Catalan parliament was dissolved and its leader, Carles Puigdemont, was dismissed.

In December, pro-independence parties won a majority in the regional parliamentary election. The new government was formed after several failed attempts.

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