Spain rules out Puigdemont becoming Catalonia leader again

Spanish government refuses decision by sacked Catalonia leader to rule remotely

Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont has travelled to Denmark, triggering a failed attempt by Spain's prosecutor to have him arrested.

Following the Catalan independence referendum and the adoption of a resolution on the region's independence from Spain in October 2017, the Spanish parliament's upper house voted to invoke the Article 155, introducing Madrid's direct governance over Catalonia.

A previous European arrest warrant issued by Spain was withdrawn in December, before a Belgian court decided whether or not to extradite Puigdemont and four of his former Cabinet members.

Spanish authorities are still investigating Catalan officials for possible rebellion and sedition charges.

Llanera argued that Puigdemont's trip had "no other aim other than to provoke his arrest" to allow him to participate in the forthcoming investiture debate.

Mr Puigdemont arrived at Copenhagen airport shortly after 07:00 GMT and was not detained, leaving in a auto.

Puigdemont became the top candidate to lead the wealthy northeastern region again after elections in Catalonia last month gave secessionists a slim majority.




Catalonia's sacked president Carles Puigdemont on Monday, January 22, repeated accusations that the European Union is failing to defend fundamental rights in the wealthy Spanish region.

Puigdemont left Brussels for Copenhagen to attend the conference on Monday.

Puigdemont refused to comment on the judge's decision not to seek his arrest. The reactivated warrant will only be valid in Denmark, where Puigdemont has traveled to for a debate.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy reiterated on Saturday that governing Catalonia from overseas would be "illegal".

Roger Torrent, the newly elected speaker of the Catalan parliament, on Monday formally proposed Puigdemont as the candidate to form a government.

The Spanish government has threatened to arrest him the moment he sets foot back in Spain.

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