Puigdemont to Europe: “I ask you to react”

Catalan president denies being in Brussels to apply for asylum, but “to act with freedom and without threats”

Carles Puigdemont in Brussels with five of his ministers (by Blanca Blay)
Carles Puigdemont in Brussels with five of his ministers (by Blanca Blay) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 31, 2017 01:56 PM

Carles Puigdemont and his government ministers, dismissed by the Spanish government, are not in Brussels to seek asylum, but instead to “act with freedom and without threats.” Indeed, Puigdemont and his government were already in the Belgian capital on the 30 October, but the reason for their stay was unclear. Following charges of rebellion, sedition, and others officially filed on Monday by the Spanish government towards Puigdemont, the Catalan government, and several Parliament bureau members, the question arose as to whether the reasons for the visit to Brussels was political.

However, in a speech at the Press Club in Brussels on October 31 carried out in four languages, Carles Puigdemont explained that he and the Catalan government ministers were not abroad to ask for asylum, as some had speculated. Indeed, he explained that as an EU citizen, he could reside in whichever EU member state he chose. He detailed that he and his colleagues would return to Catalonia, he said, but would not until they could be guaranteed to be able to act “with freedom and without threats” from the Spanish government.  In a question directed at the international community and especially to Europe, he urged: “I ask you to react.”