|Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, center, holds a bunch of flowers as he and supporters sing after a news conference in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, April 7, 2018.tion|
Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont called again on the Spanish government to begin negotiations over Catalonia’s secession declaration.
The former separatist leader renewed the call Saturday at a news conference in Berlin, one day after being released from a German prison in Neumuenster after two weeks of detention.
“The path for political negotiations based on mutual respect, this is what Europe expects. This is what the Catalan people ask for. This is what the Catalan economy, society and culture need,” Puigdemont said.
Puigdemont was arrested in Germany as he travelled from Finland to Belgium, where he had been in self-imposed exile after fleeing Spain in October.
The Spanish government has accused Puigdemont of provoking an uprising by attempting to declare Catalonia an independent state after a referendum last year the government says was illegal. Madrid has also accused Puigdemont of misusing public money.
Puigdemont was released on bail Friday pending a decision by German judges on whether to extradite him from Spain.
The Schwesig state court decided the charge of rebellion did not warrant extradition, but Puigdemont can still be extradited on the less serious charge of misuse of funds to hold Catalonia’s banned independence referendum.
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