Donald Tusk could lead mediation, says Puigdemont
In his new book, the Catalan leader proposes a referendum in all of Spain, regrets the EU's "silence" and claims his life is "in danger"
The former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, thinks that international mediation in the conflict between Catalonia and Spain might be the way out of the political crisis affecting both territories.
And in a book released on Tuesday, Puigdemont suggests that the European Council president, Donald Tusk, should be the person to lead this mediation, which should be "discreet" and not "public."
"He is the only one who has spoken of it in a correct manner," he claims.
Tusk reportedly spoke to Puigdemont on October 10, 2017, right before the moment when the then Catalan president was expected to declare independence, which in the end was delayed.
In the book, 'The Catalan Crisis, an Opportunity for Europe,' which is a result of conversations between Puigdemont and the Belgian journalist, Olivier Mouton, the pro-independence politician also regrets the European Union's "official silence" in reaction to Spanish police violence on the day of the unilateral referendum on October 1 last year.
"Europe should have said something, it was its duty," says Puigdemont.
Dialogue and referendum offer
Puigdemont also offers dialogue and proposes a referendum on Catalonia's independence in Catalonia, or even in the whole of Spain, as a solution to the issue.
"We should not be the ones who propose another roadmap. We have done it several times, we have made several proposals respecting the constitutional path, but Madrid has rejected them all. Now it is time for Spain to be creative; otherwise we will continue fighting for an independence that is recognized by international law through the ruling of the International Court of Justice on Kosovo."
The Catalan leader also makes more personal reflections in the book. "I am ready to live incarcerated in Spain, if necessary," he says, although for him that would make it more difficult to find a solution.
"Believe me: I am not exaggerating at all. If they stuck a tracker in my car, one day they could do the same with an explosive"
Carles Puigdemont · Catalan former president
Puigdemont also talks about his move to Brussels after the October 27 declaration of independence, which was by car through France and Luxembourg –unlike what was published in some media reports.
He also denied some reports describing his trip by car from Finland to Germany, where he was arrested by the local police.
"I didn't take the route they said, the people investigated by Spain for accompanying me were not the ones with me. It was also said that I was arrested in a petrol station, but that's not true either."
Puigdemont: my life "is in danger"
Puigdemont also claims that he fears for his life. "Sometimes I say that my life is in danger, and I do not say that just for the sake of it. We are facing a state that will not stop at anything to ensure the unity of the nation," he says. "Believe me: I am not exaggerating at all. If they stuck a tracker in my car, one day they could do the same with an explosive."
"When the situation is normalized I do not want to continue in politics," he also reveals.
FC Barcelona's role in the conflict
"FC Barcelona is not only about football, it is the reflection of Catalan society," he also says in his book. "Its supportive commitment shows what Catalonia is going through. It shows that Catalonia's wish is not just that of a few political leaders, but is a real thing. When Barça play at Real Madrid's ground or any other Spanish stadium, they are welcomed by Spanish flags and chants of 'long live Spain.'