Spanish PM, refuses to hold talks with former Catalan leader Puigdemont

Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy has refused to hold talks with former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont. Rajoy told reporters that he will have dialogue within the law with only a regional leader who has been officially appointed. He emphasized that he cannot do this under unlawful circumstances with Puigdemont who is evading arrest by Spanish authorities.

Rajoy indicated that other separatist leaders who have been detained on suspicion of rebellion and other charges cannot be released just because they won the election. He said the election results do not affect the decision on whether or not to release them. Earlier, Puigdemont spoke to reporters in Brussels, Belgium, after pro-independence parties secured more than half the seats in Thursday’s local parliamentary election.

The election was held after the Catalan parliament approved the unilateral declaration of independence from Spain in October. The central government then dissolved the local parliament. Puigdemont indicated that he wished to hold dialogue with Spain’s central government. He also expressed a desire to lead the region’s government again.

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