22:15 GMT +314 August 2018
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    A Spanish flag flies at half staff in memory of Spain's former Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez at the Parliament in Madrid, Spain

    Madrid Lifts Control Over Catalan Finances - Minister

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Spain's new government has decided to discontinue financial control over the Catalan Generalitat which was imposed by the former government as a response to the region declaring its independence last fall, Spanish Education Minister Isabel Celaa said.

    "We have agreed to instruct the banks on allowing the Catalan government to make transactions without the control of the Spanish Finance Ministry," Spanish Education Minister Isabel Celaa said after the first meeting of Spain’s new government, chaired by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

    Financial control on the Catalan Generalitat was imposed by the government of former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in September last year to prevent funding of the pro-independence movement from the state budget.

    Celaa stated that lifting the control was a measure aimed at "political normalization."

    The minister also said that Catalonia’s self-determination issue was "beyond any negotiations," concluding that the government was seeking to stabilize the situation relying on the Constitution and dialogue.

    READ MORE: Spain's Court Rejects Puigdemont's Appeal Over Catalan Leader Election Law

    Earlier in May, Spain changed its government in the wake of the corruption scandal involving several members of the former cabinet. Sanchez' Socialist Workers' Party initiated a no-confidence motion, which was supported by the majority of the lawmakers, and ousted Rajoy.

    On October 1, Catalonia held an independence referendum, during which the vast majority of voters backed secession. Madrid did not recognize the vote and imposed direct rule over the autonomous region, dismissing its government. A number of activists and several ministers of the former Catalan government were arrested, while several others managed to leave Spain.

    Related:

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    Catalan President Urges Madrid to Get Down to Catalonia-Related Issues
    New Catalan Gov't Takes Office, Automatically Lifting Madrid's Direct Rule
    Catalan Government Sues Rajoy Over Abuse of Power
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    minister, Pedro Sanchez, Mariano Rajoy, Catalonia, Spain
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