Spanish minister: Constitution is way to handle Catalonia

The new Spanish government minister tasked with managing the Catalonia region's secession movement says constitutional reform would help end the country's worst political crisis in nearly four decades.

Meritxell Batet, a Catalan lawmaker sworn in Thursday as Spain's minister of public administration, said Saturday that the ruling Socialists want to amend the Spanish Constitution to move toward a "federal model."

Batet says Spain's current structure of regional "autonomous communities" that have varying degrees of self-governance "has been successful until now, but it needs a renovation."

The separatist-led regional government in Catalonia, which tried and failed to declare independence last year, is the most pressing problem facing Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Sanchez took office last week after he led a no-confidence vote in Parliament to oust predecessor Mariano Rajoy.