nsucurrent.com May 21, 2018

Spain rules out Puigdemont becoming Catalonia leader again

24 January 2018, 12:30 | Lowell Little

Spanish government refuses decision by sacked Catalonia leader to rule remotely

People gather outside the Catalonia parliament during a parliamentary session in Barcelona Spain Wednesday Jan. 17 2018. A new Catalan parliament is meeting following a botched secession attempt last year and amid looming questions about the role that

The fugitive former leader of Spain's Catalonia region has spoken in Denmark about an upcoming constitutional referendum in the Faeroe Islands, a semi-autonomous Danish territory.

FORMER Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont arrived in Copenhagen today, defying a threat by Madrid to issue a warrant for his arrest if he left Belgium, where he had been in exile since a failed independence bid.

Pablo Llarena, the judge in charge of the case against Puigdemont, will rule on the request to reactive the warrant.

Puigdemont fled Catalonia for Belgium shortly after the declaration, which was not recognised by any sovereign nations.

Brussels authorities would have sent Puigdemont to Spain on charges of misuse of public funds, but not on charges of rebellion.

The new parliamentary speaker also said he had written to prime minister Mariano Rajoy inviting him to discuss the situation.

Mr Puigdemont, meanwhile, has made his first trip outside Belgium in three months, addressing students in Denmark.

However, Mr Puigdemont has raised the possibility that he would be able to govern via video link.

AP reports that Torrent is the officer who chooses a candidate to form a government by the end of the month.

It remains unclear how Puigdemont could be sworn in again as regional president without returning to Spain and therefore putting himself open to likely arrest.

As Spain's legal system wrestled over arresting Puigdemont, the ousted leader's name was put forward as a candidate for president.

The ongoing crisis unfolded after the Catalan parliament declared unilateral independence in October. "Outside, for the moment, his movements are free within the European Union, but we'll see", Dastis said earlier on Monday in Brussels.

Puigdemont's presidential candidacy was confirmed on Monday by Roger Torrent, speaker of the regional parliament.

But Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy reiterated Saturday that governing Catalonia from overseas would be "illegal". Leading members of the government and opposition have declined to meet with him.

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