Catalonia's Puigdemont doesn't rule out return to Spain

Eurogroup President and Portugal's Finance Minister Mario Centeno left and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi arrive for an Eurogroup finance ministers meeting at the EU Council in Brussels on Monday Jan. 22 2018

Catalonia's Puigdemont doesn't rule out return to Spain

Puigdemont has said he could be sworn in remotely from Brussels, a plan Spain's central government opposes.

The new speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Roger Torrent said in a statement that the confidence vote will be held on January 30.

The Spanish government has boosted border patrols in a bid to prevent ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont returning to Spain.

Carles Puigdemont is now in Brussels along with other former members of the Catalan government after the independence of Catalonia was declared and the Spanish government intervened the autonomy and called regional elections under the application of the article 155.

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The Spanish government said it would appeal against the move in the Constitutional Court and sought advice from the Council, which comprises various senior public figures, including former Spanish government ministers, defence and legal chiefs and economists.

Earlier, Spanish deputy prime minister said current circumstances did not permit the election of Puigdemont as regional leader as he can not enter Spain without being arrested. The gathering comes just two days after Torrent - who is also pro-independence - proposed Puigdemont as president of Catalonia following a snap election in December in which separatist parties again won an absolute majority led by his grouping.

"The parliament speaker has put forward as candidate someone who does not enjoy his full rights, who has no right to freedom of movement", Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said.

The 55-year old former journalist potentially faces decades of jail in Spain if he is convicted of the charges levelled against him, including rebellion and sedition, for organising the referendum and declaring Catalonia's independence.

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