- Title: Former Catalan leader Puigdemont defiant two years after secession bid
- Date: 1st October 2019
- Summary: JOURNALIST TYPING ON LAPTOP
- Embargoed: 15th October 2019 18:51
- Keywords: Puigdemont Catalonia Catalan Independence Madrid Spain Brussels Belgium Press conference
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002AZ9P64N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont on Tuesday (October 1) appeared defiant at a news conference organised to mark the second anniversary of a banned secession vote that plunged Spain into its worst crisis in decades.
Speaking from Brussels where he has lived in self-imposed exile since warrants were issued for their arrest after the failed bid, Puigdemont said he and two other Catalan leaders had not been able to collect their credentials for the European Parliament after winning seats in the May 26 election because of their support for Catalan independence.
On June 14, the Spanish Supreme Court blocked Catalan separatist Oriol Junqueras from leaving jail to collect his credentials for the European Parliament, while Puigdemont and local council member Antoni Comin have been unable to formalize their places because they would be detained if they return to Spain to collect their MEP papers.
The news conference came as tensions between separatists in the northeastern region and Madrid have run high in recent days after Spain's high court charged seven Catalan separatists with belonging to a terrorist organisation and possessing explosives and ahead of the verdict of the trial of 12 separatist leaders, expected in the first half of October.
(Production: Jorrit Donner-Wittkopf, Bart Biesemans, Clement Rossignol)
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