The president of Catalonia has this Tuesday announced his second government in ten days after the Spanish presidency ministry informed him in writing that it wasn't going to publish in the Catalan government's gazette the first he announced publicly, given it included among its members two imprisoned ministers, Jordi Turull and Josep Rull, and another two in exile. The decision by Mariano Rajoy's government only left two options: to stand firm in his position and leave Catalonia with a president but without a government or, on the other hand, change course and form an executive without the four ministers Madrid was refusing to accept. In the end, Quim Torra has undertaken a third path, more a variant of the second option: withdraw the ministers who are the subject of the controversy and simultaneously announce an immediate lawsuit against Mariano Rajoy for malfeasance.
It's clear that Torra, after trying a different path, has made sacrifices in exchange for a government which can act immediately. In this respect, it's very likely he'll find many more supporters for his decision than if he'd taken the other option. He would have been justified in not doing what he's done and, most likely too, the legal clout that there was no barrier to the first government he presented, since the four ministers in prison or in exile had all their political rights in force. Absolutely all. Something else is that the agreement between the '155' parties should leave the prevailing legislation and the widely-shared opinion of the legal scholars who have opined on the matter in the background, and should have plotted to not publish the first government in the official gazette. In short, a question of testosterone. Full stop.
Politics in these conditions isn't easy. Especially with a Spanish government that has permanently changed the rules of the game since it took over Catalan autonomy. It started before, but the feeling of injustice and violation of the law has become clearer since the suspension of autonomy, the dissolution of the Puigdemont government and the calling of elections for 21st December last year. That election day and the clear victory of the independence movement in enormously difficult conditions has upset all the pro-union side's plans. Now we'll see whether, at least, Rajoy's government is able of not only dropping article 155 (an action, in theory regulated, after the publication of the new government) but also of not introducing extra traps which annul any effectiveness of the new Catalan executive.
Financial oversight is going to be one of the areas Madrid will continue checking on a weekly or monthly basis. Something unprecedented and insulting which won't change with time. But governing, as the new members will now find out, is fundamentally a path of thorns. Among other reasons, because whoever calls the shots has the power.