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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Puigdemont Tells Spanish Parties to Leave Regional Offices Abroad Alone

BARCELONA – Former Catalonia’s president Carles Puigdemont told Spanish parties on Sunday to take their hands off the region’s offices abroad and stop making decisions that could affect the next few years.

Speaking to press in a video conference from Brussels, the recently ousted Catalan leader said the three parties involved in reeling back the region’s independence following a unilateral declaration of independence should abstain from making any moves that could compromise the next regional government.

“They need to take their hands off the network of regional offices abroad because we will have to re-establish them,” he said of the ruling conservative Popular Party, their allied business-friendly Ciudadanos and the opposition Socialist Party (PSOE), all three of which voted in favor of applying Article 155 of the Constitution, which saw Catalonia’s regional power shifted to the central government in response to the declaration of independence, deemed illegal by the Spanish judiciary.

Catalonia is due to hold regional elections on Dec. 21, which could see Article 155 dissolved, and Puigdemont warned that the Spanish government should not make decisions that would have consequences past that date.

The closure of these regional offices abroad, considered by some to be like Catalan embassies, left some 33 workers unemployed and the current government failed to transfer them to new locations.

Puigdemont, who is currently in Brussels as a Belgian court decides whether to extradite him to Spain, where he is wanted for alleged rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds over the declaration of independence and the referendum that preceded it, is to run in the upcoming snap elections as a candidate for Junts per Catalunya.

Article 155 had forced Puigdemont and his cabinet from their posts, but he said Sunday that the upcoming elections would serve to restore the regional government.

Puigdemont’s former vice-president, Oriol Junqueras, and several of his cabinet members were arrested and sent to preventative prison on Nov. 2 on sedition and rebellion allegations.

 

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