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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Messages Show Ousted Catalan Leader Losing Heart in Face of Spain Government

BARCELONA – The ousted president of the Catalonia region, who is currently in Brussels to avoid arrest in Spain for his alleged involvement in a separatist referendum and subsequent unilateral declaration of independence, said he felt he had been sacrificed by other Catalan politicians and the region’s independence bid was over, according to messages posted Wednesday by Spanish television.

In a series of text messages that were filmed and published by broadcaster Telecinco, Carles Puigdemont said Catalonia’s fight for independence was over and expired and his fellow politicians had sacrificed him and the former cabinet members that fled with him to Brussels last year.

“Moncloa’s plan has triumphed,” he said in the messages, referring to the Palace of Moncloa, the official residence of Spanish conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, adding that they were “again living through the final days of a Republican Catalonia.”

Once the messages were unveiled, the former regional president took to Twitter to say that he was human and had moments of doubt, but that he would not stop fighting for independence out of respect for Catalonia and its people.

Puigdemont is currently in the midst of a legal battle to be reinstated to his former post at the head of the region’s parliament, after Spain responded to the declaration of independence by dissolving the government and calling for fresh elections.

Pro-independence parties won a slim majority in the vote and unanimously elected Puigdemont to again head the chamber, but the Spanish government claims that he must attend a debate and investiture session in Barcelona in person in order to be named president.

He has instead been fighting to be able to take oath through teleconference, as, should he set foot in Spain, he would be immediately arrested and placed in pre-trial detention on charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds.

The debate and investiture session of the regional chamber was originally slated to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the parliamentary speaker Roger Torrent announced ahead of its start that it would be delayed the Spanish Constitutional Court grappled with pleas presented by pro-independence parties in favor of letting Puigdemont be invested via teleconference.

 

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