After weeks of stalemate, Catalonia's separatist president has nominated an administration without jailed or exiled former ministers. The move is an attempt to clear the way for Madrid to end direct rule in the region.
Catalan President Quim Torra has chosen a new administration without jailed or exiled former ministers who backed the region's independence push, in a latest attempt to form a government for Spain's northeastern region.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had refused his earlier choice of ministers, saying pro-independence leaders currently in jail or seeking refuge in other European countries would not be authorized.
In response to Rajoy's letter, Torra changed his approach in order to form a government. A juridical advisory committee told him that his nominees — none of whom are in jail or in exile — should be able to assume their posts.
Some of the new names
The Catalan lawyers on the advisory committee told Torra he was acting within his powers to form a government "not subject to the authorization or control" of Madrid.
Madrid had previously criticized Torra's choices as "a new provocation," saying the central Spanish government would maintain direct rule over the Catalan region until a new regional government was in place.
Rajoy is facing his own difficulties following a court ruling on a long-running corruption case which fined the ruling Popular Party. A no-confidence vote in Rajoy is to be held in the Madrid parliament on Friday.
jm/cmk (EFE, AFP)