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New Catalan Gov't Takes Office, Automatically Lifting Madrid's Direct Rule

© REUTERS / Albert GeaNewly elected Catalonia regional president, Quim Torra, is applauded by pro-indpendence parties following an investiture debate at the regional parliament in Barcelona, Spain, May 14, 2018
Newly elected Catalonia regional president, Quim Torra, is applauded by pro-indpendence parties following an investiture debate at the regional parliament in Barcelona, Spain, May 14, 2018 - Sputnik International
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The Catalan government to resume its work as an autonomous entity on Saturday as new ministers assume office.

The new Catalan government led by Quim Torra has officially assumed its powers, thus ending Madrid's direct rule over the autonomous Spanish region.

Catalan leader Quim Torra suggested holding talks between the Catalan and Spanish governments to the newly elected Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Saturday.

"Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez! Let's talk and discuss. We have to sit at the negotiations table, we will take a risk and hold talks as a government with a government," Torra said.

The Generalitat's first session will be held on Saturday. Its 13 members have all been sworn in by Torra and promised to perform their duties in accordance with the law.

READ MORE: Spain's Legal System ‘on Trial' as Catalonia Elects Pro-Independence President

In late May, Madrid refused to recognize a cabinet proposed by Torra, which included exiled and imprisoned Catalan politicians. Torra said the actions of the Spanish government broke the law and violated his political rights.

Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont speaks during a media conference in Brussels on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 - Sputnik International
German Prosecutors Seek Catalan Ex-Leader Puigdemont's Extradition to Spain
He took the oath of office on May 17 but did not swear allegiance to either the Spanish king or constitution.

Nevertheless, the Spanish government approved Torra's second Cabinet list. On Friday, a decree on new regional government appointments was published in the Official Gazette of the Government of Catalonia.

On October 1, Catalonia held an independence referendum, which was not recognized by the central authorities. The results showed that the majority of Catalans supported secession, and the regional parliament unilaterally announced independence later in October. In response, Madrid imposed direct rule over the autonomous region, dissolved the Catalan parliament and called a snap election. Several pro-independence leaders were jailed, while others fled the country.

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