situation report

Jun 2, 2018 | 17:56 GMT

1 min read

Spain: Catalan Nationalists Pledge to Seek Independence, Posing Challenge to New Prime Minister

What Happened: Nationalists regained control of Catalonia's government on June 2 and immediately said they would seek independence for the region, Reuters reported. The pledge posed a challenge to new Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who took office about an hour earlier.

Why It Matters: The coincidence of the central and regional governments taking power on the same day could open a new chapter after dramatic months that have seen Catalan politicians jailed or flee abroad to avoid arrest.

Background: The new Catalan Cabinet was sworn in after months of tensions with the central government, ending Madrid's seven-month direct rule of the region, imposed by Sanchez's predecessor, Mariano Rajoy, after separatists declared independence. Sanchez has said he wants talks on Catalonia but opposes independence.

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