Quim Torra elected first Catalan president since failed independence

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Germany's intelligence chief accused Russian Federation of seeking to destabilise Spain by backing separatists in Catalonia, as the region elected a new hardline president to lead its bid for independence. Torra will have another chance during a second round on Monday, when only a simple majority is required.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who repeatedly called for the separatists to present a "clean" candidate, has finally got his wish: Torra, unlike the other candidates, is not in trouble with the Spanish legal system. Ines Arrimadas, leader in Catalonia of the centrist, anti-independence Ciudadanos party, has branded Torra a mere "puppet" for Puigdemont. "From October 27, he will be able to call new elections".

Last December, Catalan separatists won another majority government after a record number of voters went to the polls in snap elections.

Catalonia's pro-independence politician Quim Torra has been elected president of the restive Spanish region, bringing an end to five months of political deadlock. Puigdemont fled Catalonia to Belgium following the region's independence referendum in October.


During his investiture speech May 14, Torra promised additional investment in health care and education, and to raise the minimum wage, signaling that his government could try to focus on social and economic issues in addition to independence.

On Monday, German domestic intelligence authorities reported that they had received information suggesting Russian Federation supported the Catalan independence movement.

During that speech, he lambasted European institutions for their "unacceptable silence" over the Catalan crisis.

"We will be loyal to the mandate of October 1: build up an independent state in the form of a republic", he said Monday, referring to the date of last year's disputed referendum, on the basis of which regional leaders declared independence.


The new leader of the Catalan government supported the party Pokdemon Together for Cataloniaand separatists from the party Republican Left of Catalonia.

Barroso said the ERC wants a moderate approach to avoid a Madrid clampdown and to play a longer independence game.

For Oriol Bartomeus, politics professor at Barcelona Autonomous University, the region risks having "a divided government - there could be fallout".


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