RealNews

Catalan premier to push for more independence

Pasqual Maragall, the pioneering socialist mayor who transformed Barcelona for the 1992 Olympics, on Tuesday becomes the first leftwing leader to head a Catalan government since the restoration of democracy 25 years ago. His investiture as president of Catalonia, following regional elections last month, is sending shock waves throughout Spain. The veteran 62-year-old politician has put together a coalition of socialists, greens and radical Catalan nationalists that wants more independence from Madrid. In a speech to Catalonia’s regional parliament on Monday, Mr Maragall promised to rewrite Catalonia’s autonomy statutes. He said that Catalonia deserved more tax raising (and spending) powers, a more independent judiciary, and a greater consultative role in foreign affairs, particularly with regard to the European Union. Full Story

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