MADRID (AP) – The Latest on Spanish political developments (all times local):
The separatist leader of Catalonia says he will continue to push for secession after the end of a seven-month takeover by Spanish authorities following last year’s failed breakaway bid.
Quim Torra said after swearing in his Cabinet that “this government accepts the charge to continue forward with the mandate . to form an independent state.”
The forming of a Catalan government automatically ended the takeover of the region by central powers started after last October’s illegal declaration of independence by the region’s parliament.
Torra also repeated his request to open talks with new Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who was sworn in earlier Saturday and has promised to meet with Torra.
Torra said “Pedro Sanchez, let us talk, take risks, both you and I, let us sit down at a table and talk, government to government.”
Catalonia has sworn in a new government, automatically ending a seven-month takeover by Spain’s central authorities following a failed secession bid by the restive region.
Madrid fired Catalonia’s government and took control of the running of the region after an illegal and unsuccessful declaration of independence by the Catalan parliament in October.
According to the extraordinary powers granted to Spain’s central government by the Senate, the large degree of self-rule enjoyed by the region would be returned once it formed a government after a new election.
Separatists won a December election and chose fervent separatist Quim Torra as regional chief.
The members of Catalonia’s former government are to be tried on charges including rebellion. Several are in pre-trial jail and others fled the country as fugitives.
Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez has been sworn in as Spain’s prime minister by King Felipe VI.
Sanchez came to power Saturday at a ceremony at the Zarzuela Palace a day after successfully leading a no-confidence vote to oust predecessor Mariano Rajoy following a court ruling in a major corruption case involving the conservative leader’s Popular Party.
The Parliament voted 180-169 Friday to replace Rajoy’s government with one led by Sanchez. One lawmaker abstained.
Spain is the eurozone’s No. 4 economy and an influential member of the European Union. Sanchez and his party are staunch supporters of the EU and the shared currency.
The 46-year-old Sanchez is Spain’s seventh prime minister since the return to democracy following the death of dictator Gen. Francisco Franco in 1975.