Catalonia's new president Quim Torra on Saturday named two former ministers, jailed by Madrid for backing independence from Spain, together with two others who fled into exile, to his regional government.
The Catalan parliament is expected to vote in a hard-line separatist as leader on Monday, heralding an end to seven months of direct rule from Madrid but also more political uncertainty in a region that retains a mandate to seek a split from Spain.
At least one woman was arrested Tuesday for ‘rebellion’ and ‘terrorism’ in a probe of pro-independence activists in Catalonia who have staged protests such as road blockades, the interior minister said.
Former Catalan minister Clara Ponsati, who is wanted by Spain for her role in last year's independence bid, surrendered to Scottish police Wednesday to face arrest under a European warrant.
Jordi Sanchez, a separatist civic leader in jail over his alleged role in Catalonia's secession bid, is mulling dropping his bid to lead the region in what could ease a months-long political blockage.
The ceremony in Madrid's royal palace came as uncertainty persists in Catalonia, where an attempt to break away and form an independent republic has threatened the unity of Spain.
Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont on Monday vowed to form a new government despite "threats" from the central government in Madrid, after a Spanish judge refused to re-issue a European warrant for his arrest.
Catalonia heads into a 24-hour campaigning blackout Wednesday on the eve of a knife-edge vote, a potential turning point in the Spanish region's hotly disputed independence crisis.