Puigdemont claims Socialists offered him pardon if he surrendered to Spanish authorities

After losing immunity, Puigdemont says he would run in next European elections 'as of today'

Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont speaking to the media on January 31, 2023
Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont speaking to the media on January 31, 2023 / Albert Cadanet
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

July 6, 2023 11:35 AM

July 6, 2023 06:26 PM

In a recent interview on Catalan radio station Rac1, Carles Puigdemont reviewed some aspects of the ruling from the European General Court which stated that the former Catalan president and MEPs Clara Ponsatí and Toni Comín do not have immunity. 

The former Catalan president claimed that the Socialists had informally offered him a pardon if returned to the country and surrendered to Spanish authorities. "That is the only proposition that the Socialists and the Spanish government have made." 

"Every day I think about how I may never return, " Puigdemont confessed, "because I will not give in. I do not want a pardon."


Back in 2021, the Spanish government granted pardons for nine Catalan politicians and activists that were jailed for their roles during the 2017 independence referendum. 

The Junts MEP said that the ruling "has been hard" on the exiled pro-independence leaders but that does not mean that the "match" is over as they will appeal the ruling at the Court of Justice of the European Union. 

For Puigdemont, the only way to resolve the situation is "either a political negotiation that recognizes Catalonia as a nation or a democratic and non-violent confrontation with Spain."

When asked about the next European election, the Junts MEP stated that "if I had to choose today, I would run for the elections, as it is the best place to defend our ideas."

Because of the appeal they are planning to present, the ruling by the CJUE would probably be out by 2024, just months before the next European elections.

Puigdemont said that he wanted to "add political value" while in exile in Brussels: "Belgium gives us the chance to make our political fight more active."

When asked about the next plenary session of the European Parliament that will take place next Monday in Strasbourg, the former Catalan president stated that he will be attending if there are no changes to his situation: "right now there is not a new European arrest warrant, but we still want confirmation that the European Parliament will protect our freedom of movement as MEPs."

Spanish Government denies potential pardon

Members of the Spanish government have denied that such interaction took place.


Spanish Transport Minister, Raquel Sánchez, even suggested that Puigdemont and People's Party "have aligned to generate fake news."