Catalan and Spanish Leaders Take Steps to Normalize Relations
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez and Catalan president Quim Torra have met for the first time.
The fact that a simple meeting is considered a step forward says something about how poorly Sánchez’ conservative predecessor, Mariano Rajoy, managed relations between the Spanish state and its richest — and rebellious — region.
Beyond the symbolism of the meeting, the two leaders made substantive progress. Read more
Spain Lifts Catalan Spending Controls, Hints at Constitutional Reform
Spain has lifted controls on Catalonia’s public finances and called for constitutional reforms to dissuade the region from breaking away.
The goodwill measures of the new Socialist government are an about-face from the clampdown under conservative prime minister Mariano Rajoy, who was ousted in a confidence vote last week.
Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez, the new prime minister, backed Rajoy when he suspended Catalonia’s autonomy in the wake of the October 1 independence referendum. But he also argued for talks to convince a majority of Catalans to stay in Spain. Rajoy refused to so much as sit down with the region’s separatists. Read more