Catalonia´s disposed president, Carles Puigdemont, said Tuesday that he had gone to Belgium because the Spanish government “was planning a wave of violence” for which he would be held responsible. He also stressed that he is not delighted to live in the capital of Europe. In an interview with Catalunya Radio, Puigdemont reiterated that his government had decided to split: four of his advisers (ministers) would leave for Belgium to make their cause known while the others would respond to the summons of the Spanish court (which then placed them in pre-trial detention).
The former Catalan minister-president also felt that they had been removed from office by an “illegal coup d’etat”.
“I think that we weren´t wrong. I’m absolutely convinced that the Spanish state had prepared a very harsh crackdown of violence, of which we would all have been held responsible,” he said and added that he represents a “government in exile”.
He did not explain how his departure to Belgium would have avoided the violence he accuses Madrid of having planned.
The pro-independence leader said that he realizes that if he would be expelled to Spain, he could land in prison. This is why, according to him, giving an international dimension to the Catalan crisis could help the other leaders currently imprisoned.
Accused by Madrid of “rebellion, sedition and embezzlement of public funds”, Puigdemont and his four ministers are wanted by a Spanish court. A Belgian court is due to examine the European arrest warrant issued by Spain on 17 November.
Catalonia unilaterally declared itself independent from Spain on 27 October. In response, the Spanish state took control of the autonomous region, dismissing the government, dissolving the parliament and calling for early regional elections on 21 December.