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
Establishment-Backed Candidates Prevail in Primaries
Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight reports that Democratic and Republican Party elites had a good night in America. In most of the primary elections held on Tuesday, establishment-backed candidates prevailed. Read more
Rajoy Steps Down as Party Leader. Here Are His Possible Successors
Mariano Rajoy has stepped down as leader of Spain’s center-right People’s Party.
Resignation was inevitable after Rajoy became the first prime minister in Spanish democratic history to be removed from office last week. The opposition Socialists cobbled together a majority consisting of left-wing and regionalist parties to end the conservative’s six-and-a-half year tenure. Read more