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New Catalan cabinet sworn in

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By Louise Miner  with Reuters
New Catalan cabinet sworn in

A new Catalan cabinet was sworn in after months of tensions with the central government, ending Madrid’s seven-month direct rule of the region.

Catalan's new leader Quim Torra and Parliament Speaker Roger Torrent entered to a standing ovation with only one empty seat — that of the ex-Catalan leader Puigdemont who remains detained in Germany and is still wanted in Spain on charges of corruption.

In a cabinet totalling eight men and six women, Elsa Artadi is now the new government spokeswoman.

President Torra immediately pledged to seek independence.

This will be a major challenge for the new Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.