Catalan government takes office in emotional event, lifting direct rule

Seven months after suspension of self-government, Catalonia has an executive once more

The new Catalan government members during their inaugurations on June 2, 2018 (by Marc Rovira)
The new Catalan government members during their inaugurations on June 2, 2018 (by Marc Rovira) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

June 2, 2018 11:34 AM

Direct rule in Catalonia is history after 219 days in force. This, as an automatic result of the new Catalan government’s inauguration taking place this Saturday morning. On October 27, the now ousted Spanish government implemented suspension of self-rule following the declaration of independence. After some leaders being sent in prison, others in exile, a Catalan election and five months until a president was appointed, this Saturday a new term starts in Catalonia. But the exceptional circumstances were clear on Saturday with the symbolism in the inauguration, including a yellow ribbon set in the first row of the audience. Yellow has become the color to show solidarity with the leaders in jail and abroad.

But the symbolism and remembrance of the leaders in jail and abroad went further during the event, which was highly emotional. Relatives of some of those leaders read some letters addressed to the Catalan president, including the four ministers who were prevented from being reinstated in May. Some of these relatives were in tears during the event, as some of the newly elected ministers and audience.

Messages from officials in jail and abroad

“Road for an independent Catalonia is a noble, legitimate, democratic, peaceful cause. No prison or unfair judicial case will make me give up,” said jailed and deposed Presidency minister Jordi Turull through his wife.

 In a letter read by his sister, ousted Health head Toni Comín said from Brussels that he knew the Puigdemont cabinet could be subject to Spain’s repression. “When appointed, I had the feeling that that would not be just another government, as it had the mandate of the people for Catalonia to become an independent state.”