Catalan President Calls for Talks with Spain’s News PM

Newly elected and former Catalan Prime Minister Qim Torra and Carles Puigdemont hold a press conference in Berlin on May 15- Puigdemont caused the government shutdown after declaring independence from Spain in October

The separatist leader of Spain's Catalonia region says he will continue to push for secession after the end of a seven-month takeover by national authorities following last year's failed breakaway bid.

Catalan President Quim Torra, center, poses with the members of the new government after the swearing in ceremony celebrated at the Palau Generalitat in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, June 2, 2018.

Sanchez, a Socialist who has said he wants talks on Catalonia but opposes any independence referendum, was sworn in about an hour earlier on Saturday, a day after parliament ousted conservative Mariano Rajoy over a corruption scandal.

Former president Carles Puigdemont is in Berlin awaiting a ruling on a European Arrest Warrant issued by Spain, as is Clara Ponsati - a St Andrews University academic and former Catalan education minister.

Mr Sánchez's centre-Left PSOE won Friday's no-confidence motion with the support of the hard-Left party Podemos, Catalan pro-independence parties and Basque nationalists - generating speculation over what Mr Hernando claimed were "shady backroom deals" that had yet to be revealed.

"Llibertat!" (Freedom!). He called on Sanchez, an untested lawmaker who has never been in government, to meet and talk about Catalonia's future.

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Spanish authorities have charged him with rebellion and misuse of funds in connection with an unauthorized referendum a year ago on Catalonia's independence from Spain.

Puigdemont is fighting extradition from Germany to Spain where he is sought on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds.

Maragall said: "The thermometer of the new Spanish Government will be the treatment of prisoners and exiles".

Still, his tenure could be short.

The ceremony was held in the presence of king Philip VI in the Royal residence, the Zarzuela Palace.

Information for this article was contributed by Joseph Wilson of The Associated Press; and by Raphael Minder of The New York Times.

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