New Catalan first minister gives controversial speech

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CARLES Piugdemont was sworn in as the new first minister of Catalonia in a brief ceremony on Tuesday January 12 at the Catalan parliament.

Contrary to normal protocol, he did not swear allegiance to the king or the constitution but did swear loyalty to the will of the Catalan people, represented by the Catalan Parliament.

Artur Mas in his last speech as interim first minister thanked the parliament for all of the support that he had had been shown in the past and received a standing ovation from the pro-independence groups.

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The Spanish home secretary and a representative of the national government remained seated and did not applaud as Mr Mas hung the first minister’s medal over Mr Piugdemont’s shoulders and they were booed by a waiting crowd when they left the parliament building.

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