COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The Latest on former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont’s visit to Denmark (all times local):
Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says he hopes to return to Catalonia and believes it would be a good thing toward helping solve the Catalan crisis.
Puigdemont was re-elected to the Catalan parliament last month and is the candidate to form a new government. But he is on the run from Spanish justice and faces likely arrest if he returns.
Speaking in Copenhagen, Puigdemont said Tuesday his return would be good for his supporters and for Spanish democracy as “an important step to restore the democratic situation.”
Puigdemont’s candidacy has a slim parliamentary majority although his re-election faces legal challenges and fierce opposition if he tries to do it from abroad.
He said in English that “it is my goal (to be present). I’m working for that. I’m working for to be there.”
Spain says it will step up surveillance to ensure the arrest of former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont if he decides to return home to seek re-election to his old job.
Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said Tuesday that security experts are designing a plan to prevent Puigdemont entering the country undetected. Puigdemont faces an arrest warrant in Spain amid an investigation into his government’s secession attempt in late October.
Zoido told broadcaster Antena 3 Tuesday: “We are very worried, because we don’t know what a person with this behavior might do.” He said security forces face a difficult challenge given the large number of possible ways to enter Catalonia.
He said: “We are analyzing all the possibilities. … We are going to make sure that he can’t even enter in the trunk of a car.”
A Faeroese member of the Danish Parliament who plans to meet Catalan ex-leader Carles Puigdemont says that listening to him is the best way to understand what is going on in Spain’s Catalonia region.
Magni Arge is a member of the left-wing Republican Party from the Faeroe Islands, a semi-autonomous Danish territory. He plans to meet Puigdemont Tuesday and says it’s best to hear his views from “the horse’s mouth.”
Arge scolded Danish government and opposition lawmakers for rejecting invitations to meet Puigdemont, who traveled from self-imposed exile in Belgium to Denmark on Monday and spoke at the University of Copenhagen. A Spanish judge refused to ask Danish authorities to arrest Puigdemont.
Arge said “one can start understand each other by talking together, not by ignoring each other.”