Last Update 22:17
Thursday, 14 November 2019

Spain-Belgium ties could be harmed by ex Catalan leader: Minister

AFP , Thursday 8 Feb 2018
Carles Puigdemont
File Photo: Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and dismissed Catalan ministers Lluis Puig and Clara Ponsati takes part in a meeting with members of the Catalan Parliament, in Brussels, Belgium, February 5, 2018 (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 2217
Views: 2217

Spain's foreign minister warned Thursday that deposed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont's plan to govern the region remotely from Belgium could harm "friendly relations" between Madrid and Brussels.

Puigdemont went to Belgium just days after the Catalan parliament declared independence from Spain on October 27, prompting Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to dissolve the assembly and call snap elections to try and nip secession in the bud.

Spain issued a European arrest warrant against Puigdemont but later dropped it, saying it would complicate the overall probe into the region's separatist leaders who are wanted for rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds -- some of whom are already in jail.

"In theory, he can live a normal life in Belgium," Alfonso Dastis told AFP.

But if he wants to "govern Catalonia remotely, then we will no doubt, at some point, question how long this can last without affecting the friendly relations of two partner states," he added.

"It's clear that politically, it's not a comfortable situation for the Spanish government or for the Belgian one."

Puigdemont left for Belgium just hours before he and other separatist leaders were charged over their role in Catalonia's independence drive.

There, he organises press conferences, records video statements and tries to mobilise support for his cause.

When he arrived in Belgium, Puigdemont had already been sacked by Madrid as Catalan president along with the rest of his executive after the short-lived declaration of independence.

But he was re-elected as lawmaker in December regional polls, and his Together for Catalonia grouping came first out of the three separatist parties, which means he is their candidate to rule the region again.

Spain's Constitutional Court, however, has warned that Puigdemont needs to be present in the regional parliament to be officially reappointed, and not in Belgium.

As such, separatists are currently locked in negotiations over how to form an effective regional government.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.