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.
- Independence-Minded Catalonia Will Tread a More Cautious Path (May 14, 2018)
- Spain: After Elections, Catalonia Faces a New Year as Complicated as the Last (Dec. 22, 2017)
- Spain, Catalonia and the Distance That Divides (Nov. 11, 2017)