Sacked Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has gone to Belgium, a lawyer he has hired there says. The lawyer, Paul Bekaert, did not comment on reports that Puigdemont could be preparing an asylum claim.
Spain’s deputy prime minister has said that Catalonia’s leader did not give an adequate response in his letter about the region’s independence and has until Thursday to comply with the country’s laws. Carles Puigdemont’s letter, issued two hours before a Monday deadline, did not clarify whether he in fact declared Catalonia’s independence from Spain. He called for talks with Spain’s government.
Catalonia’s leader faced mounting pressure on Friday from all sides, with hardliners in the separatist movement demanding he declare independence from Spain once and for all. Spain’s government and the European Union, on the other hand, want him to abandon the secession plans altogether.
Catalonia will declare independence from Spain in a matter of days, the leader of the autonomous region has told the BBC. In his first interview since Sunday's referendum, Carles Puigdemont said his government would “act at the end of this week or the beginning of next”.
The latest surveys on the Spanish legislative elections to be held next Sunday, predict a victory for the ruling center-right People's Party, or PP, but without an absolute majority, so the party will have to form a coalition to establish a government.
The leader of Spain's wealthy Catalonia region President signed a decree on Monday calling parliamentary elections for 27 September, a year earlier than necessary and according to political analysts, a proxy vote on the much debated controversial independence.
Catalonia's president on Saturday formally called a referendum to decide whether Spain's richest region should be independent, defying Madrid which vowed to block the move. Shortly after Artur Mas set the vote for November 9, the Spanish government said the referendum would not take place because it was unconstitutional.
The storm of protest in Spain over Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo’s speech to the UN this week showed no sign of letting up with a fresh round of political complaints and even the threat of legal action, according to the Gibraltar Chronicle.
Britain’s relationship with Spain could be damaged by the ongoing dispute over Gibraltar, Europe Minister David Lidington warned. Lidington told the Financial Times there was a danger the row would overshadow all other parts of the Anglo-Spanish relationship. “There is clearly a risk that this will cloud the bilateral relationship,” he said.
Spanish police will erect barriers around politicians' residences to shield them from protests over the growing number of home evictions and to call for changes to mortgage laws.