Exiled Catalan leader gets conditional release by Spanish judge
A survey has revealed how only one in seven people from Catalonia believe the current situation between Barcelona and Madrid will end in independence for the region. The first part of the GAD3 survey had shown yesterday how pro-independence parties would win the election but may not gain the parliamentary majority needed to continue with secession.
The results coincide with the release of Catalonia’s former leader, Carles Puigdemont, by a Belgian judge after he had turned himself in this weekend. Puigdemont has been granted conditional release by the judge, his lawyer told media today.
Read related story: Spanish Court may issue arrest warrant for exiled Catalan leader
A Spanish judge had issued an international arrest warrant for Puigdemont on Friday, a day after eight members of the dissolved Catalan government were jailed in Spain.
In a press conference last week, Puigdemont had said that he and his colleagues would remain in Brussels “not to evade justice but to demand it”, criticising the court’s planned “disproportionate penalties equivalent to murder or terrorism”. Puigdemont had also accused the Spanish government of seeking “vengeance” against him.
Spain’s central government took control of the Catalan region after leaders staged a poll on secession, which was declared illegal by the Constitutional Court, and then passed a unilateral declaration of independence through the parliament. In response, Spain’s Prime Minister fired the government and called a regional election for December 21.