Socialist Pedro Sanchez sworn in as Spain's prime minister

Casey Dawson
June 5, 2018

In Madrid, the Spanish government also held a swearing-in ceremony Saturday, with socialist leader Pedro Sanchez becoming prime minister.

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.

Spain's socialist leader Pedro Sanchez prepares to take the oath during the swearing in ceremony at the Zarzuela Palace on the outskirts of Madrid.

The new leader of Catalonia' government Quim Torra on Saturday said he was committed to achieving independence for Catalonia and wanted to enter into talks with new Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to end a standoff between Barcelona and Madrid.

"Let's talk, let's deal with this question, let's take risks, you and us".

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Sanchez said Thursday that one of the priorities of his government would be "rebuilding bridges" with the country's regions and "establishing the foundations that allow us to normalize relations and start a dialogue between the Spanish government and the new government in Catalonia".

Catalonia's separatist president Quim Torra has called for talks with Spain's new prime minister as the Catalan regional executive was sworn in.

His failure to resolve the political crisis caused by the standoff contributed to dissatisfaction with him, though the no-confidence vote - backed by Catalan pro-independence parties - was triggered primarily by a long-running corruption trial involving members of his centre-right party. The new Prime Minister faces significant challenges and an uphill battle as he assumes office. The Spanish government called their nomination "a new provocation".

Torra was chosen by Puigdemont to be Catalonia's next leader after separatist parties kept their absolute majority in regional elections in December.

Sanchez and his Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) were the initiators of the no-confidence motion which passed on Friday by 180 - 169, with one abstaining.

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