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Belgium: Former Catalan President Puts Brussels in a Bind

MIN READOct 31, 2017 | 16:03 GMT

(Stratfor)

Belgium has found itself involuntarily involved in the Catalan crisis, after former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and several members of his government fled to the country. Having been dismissed by Madrid three days earlier, the group arrived in Belgium on Oct. 30, only hours before Spain's chief prosecutor asked for charges of sedition and embezzlement. In a press conference in Brussels on Oct. 31, Puigdemont accused the Spanish state of being "extremely aggressive" against Catalonia and said that judges in Spain were partisan and not able to act independently. He also asked the Catalan population to protect Catalan institutions from Madrid's attempts to take direct control of them. Furthermore, Puigdemont clarified that he is not in Belgium to request asylum but that he did not think it was safe to return to Spain....

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