Spain's new government has promised to lift Madrid’s financial controls on Catalonia in what it said it was a "gesture of normalization." An independence referendum for the region remains out of the question.
Banks will be instructed to allow the government of Catalonia to make payments without the supervision of Spain's finance ministry, education minister and government spokeswoman, Isabel Celaa, said on Friday.
Madrid had been supervising Catalan finances since 2015 to ensure no public money was funding illegal pro-independence activities, but controls were tightened by the conservative government of Mariano Rajoy in September 2017.
Rajoy said this was to stop the separatist regional government of Catalonia from financing a banned independence referendum on October 1. The referendum was boycotted by the opposition and declared illegal by Spanish courts.
Celaa said the government was not willing to discuss the possibility of Catalonia holding an independence referendum, as demanded by Catalan separatists. "This is out of the question," she told reporters.