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MADRID (Sputnik) - Former Generalitat President Carles Puigdemont, who is now residing in Brussels, said in a private message revealed by local media on Wednesday that his supporters had "sacrificed" him after failing to support him in a vote for the region's leader.
"I suppose it is clear that this is over, our people have sacrificed us, at least me. You will be ministers (I hope and I wish), but I have already been sacrificed," Puigdemont told former Health Minister Antoni Comin in a message obtained and quoted by the Tele 5 broadcaster.
He added that the last days of a "republican Catalonia" had come, since the Spanish government had won.
Later, Puigdemont confirmed that the message was written by him, but stressed that confidential communication was not intended for publication. For his part, Comin said that Puigdemont's words were taken out of context, and access to the messages was illegally obtained, constituting a crime both in Belgium and Spain.
On Tuesday, the Catalan parliament was scheduled to convene and confirm Puigdemont as the head of the regional government, but the meeting was delayed by Catalan parliament speaker Roger Torrent, who first wanted to receive a guarantee that Madrid would not interfere. Torrent pledged to appeal the decision of Spanish Constitutional Court, which ruled that Puigdemont may be sworn in as the president of the Generalitat only after making an appearance at the Catalan parliament in person. As a result, only four parliamentarians from the left-wing Popular Unity Candidacy party came to the hall, while no members of the Puigdemont-led Together for Catalonia alliance attended the vote.
On October 1, Catalonia held a referendum on the region's independence from Spain. The vast majority of voters backed secession. The plebiscite was not, however, recognized by Madrid, which subsequently imposed direct rule over the autonomous region and dismissed its government. Several ministers of the former Catalan government were arrested while Puigdemont managed to leave Spain for Belgium.
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