Pedro Sánchez's new Spanish government has decided to lift extraordinary financial controls on the regional Catalan government, the new cabinet spokeswoman, Isabel Celaá, confirmed in a press conference on Friday afternoon.

Banks will be instructed to allow payments "without the supervision of the Bank of Spain", said Ms. Celaá, adding that the new socialist government characterised the move as a "gesture of normalisation".

The exacting financial control measures were put in place last year by the previous Popular Party government in order to check if any public money was being spent on the illegal separatist referendum on October 1, 2017 or the Catalan independence process.

The suspension of home rule in Catalonia following a declaration of independence in the Catalan Parliament on October 27, 2017 lasted for seven months.

Ms. Celaá said the priority for the new cabinet is the territorial situation in Catalonia and that the Sánchez government's approach will be constitutional but with dialogue: "we will try to move forward".

She did not specify when the Prime Minister will meet Quim Torra, the new First Minister of Catalonia.

Updated: 6:18 pm, Jun 08 2018 (link)

Finance Ministry Confirms Payments "Back To Normal" In Catalonia

In a statement published on Friday evening, the Spanish Finance Ministry confirmed that "normality has been reestablished" for payments and finances in Catalonia, after seven months of suspension of home rule (direct central government control), and a slightly longer period of financial supervision.

The only controls the region is now subject to are the standard after-the-fact checks required by those Spanish regions using Regional Liquidity Funds.

The ministry said it had "progressively deactivated" the extra checks, instituted in September last year before the application of Article 155 to suspend home rule, since the new Catalan government was sworn in last week.

"The last of these procedures consisted of notifying financial entities, following a report from the Attorney General's office, of the elimination of prior checks related to payments ordered by the Catalan government."

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