08:45 GMT +321 April 2018
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    Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gestures during a news conference at his ruling People's Party's (PP) headquarters in Madrid, Spain May 22, 2017

    Spanish PM Calls Idea to Create Parallel Catalan Government in Brussels Crazy

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    MADRID (Sputnik) – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy described on Thursday plans of the Catalan independence supporters to create a parallel regional government in Brussels as absurd.

    "That is crazy. What is necessary to do is to elect a person, who is in Spain, who is not in prison, who has no problems with justice and respects the law," Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told the Telecinco broadcaster.

    Earlier this week, Catalan parties announced their plans to establish parallel government structures in Brussels that will be headed by ousted regional President Carles Puigdemont. 

    Catalan Parliament speaker Roger Torrent said Tuesday that he would propose former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who is in self-imposed exile in Belgium, for nomination as a candidate for the position of the head of the Catalan government, the Generalitat.

    READ MORE: Puigdemont Nominated as Catalan Presidential Candidate

    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 former President Puigdemont managed to leave Spain for Belgium.

    The newly elected Catalan parliament tried to declare Puigdemont a new president of the region but the Spanish authorities banned to swear in him in absentia.

    Related:

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    Spanish PM Rajoy Says Catalonia's President and Vice President Should Step Down
    Spanish Intel Spying on Catalan Lawmakers in Brussels - Spanish Parliamentarian
    Tags:
    parallel, Catalan referendum, government, Carles Puigdemont, Mariano Rajoy, Catalonia, Spain, Belgium
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