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belgian judge to decide next phase in spain-catalonia fight


brussels — the fight between spain and catalonia's separatists reached a belgian judge on sunday after the region's deposed leader and four ex-ministers surrendered in brussels to face possible extradition to madrid for allegedly plotting a rebellion.hours after former catalan regional president carles puigdemont and the others turned themselves in to belgian authorities, puigdemont's party put him forward as its leader for an upcoming regional election called by the spanish government — meaning he could end up heading a campaign from brussels while he fights a forced return to spain.belgian judicial authorities now have to make a decision rife with diplomatic implications for fellow european union members spain and belgium and political consequences for catalonia, the restive spanish regi






belgian judge to decide next phase in spain-catalonia fight


the fight between spain and catalonia's separatists reached a belgian judge sunday after the region's deposed leader and four ex-ministers surrendered in brussels to face possible extradition to madrid for allegedly plotting a rebellion.hours after former catalan regional president carles puigdemont and the others turned themselves in to belgian authorities, puigdemont's party put him forward as its leader for an upcoming regional election called by the spanish government. the choice means he could end up heading a campaign from brussels while he fights a forced return to spain.belgian judicial authorities now have to make a decision rife with diplomatic implications for fellow european union members spain and belgium and political consequences for catalonia, the restive spanish region fig






catalonia ex-officials surrender to belgian police


image copyrightafpimage caption carles puigdemont fled to belgium with four former regional ministers after spain rejected catalonia's independence referendum and imposed direct rule catalonia's deposed leader carles puigdemont and four former advisers have turned themselves in to belgian police, says a prosecutors' spokesman.he said an investigating judge would decide by monday morning whether to execute an eu arrest warrant issued by a spanish judge on friday.mr puigdemont fled to belgium after madrid imposed direct rule on catalonia following an independence referendum.he has said he will not return to spain unless he is guaranteed a fair trial. he and his four associates are wanted on charges of rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust.the associate






catalonia ex-officials surrender to belgian police


image copyrightafpimage caption carles puigdemont fled to belgium with four former regional ministers after spain rejected catalonia's independence referendum and imposed direct rule catalonia's deposed leader carles puigdemont and four former advisers have turned themselves in to belgian police, says a prosecutors' spokesman.he said an investigating judge would decide by monday morning whether to execute an eu arrest warrant issued by a spanish judge on friday.mr puigdemont fled to belgium after madrid imposed direct rule on catalonia following an independence referendum.he has said he will not return to spain unless he is guaranteed a fair trial. he and his four associates are wanted on charges of rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust following the






catalonia ex-officials surrender to belgian police


image copyrightafpimage caption carles puigdemont fled to belgium with four former regional ministers after spain rejected catalonia's independence referendum and imposed direct rule catalonia's deposed leader carles puigdemont and four former advisers have turned themselves in to belgian police, says a prosecutors' spokesman.he said an investigating judge would decide by monday morning whether to execute an eu arrest warrant issued by a spanish judge on friday.mr puigdemont fled to belgium after madrid imposed direct rule on catalonia following an independence referendum.he has said he will not return to spain unless he is guaranteed a fair trial. he and his four associates are wanted on charges of rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust following the






catalan ex-president, 4 others in custody in brussels


 brussels prosecutors said sunday that ousted catalan president carles puigdemont and four ex-regional ministers were taken into custody to start the process of their possible extradition to spain.the five presented themselves to federal police at around 9 a.m. (0800 gmt; 3 a.m. est), brussels prosecutor's office spokesman gilles dejemeppe said. he said that they haven't been arrested and that puigdemont and the four members of his disbanded cabinet will be heard by an investigative judge later in the day.the belgian judge will have to decide within 24 hours what comes next for the five separatist politicians wanted in spain on suspicion of rebellion for pushing through a declaration of independence for the northeastern catalonia in violation of spain's constitution.dejemeppe said the judg






spain seeks arrest of ousted catalan leader


a spanish prosecutor requested late thursday that a european arrest warrant be issued for carles puigdemont, the leader of catalonia’s secessionist movement who fled to belgium to escape authorities in spain.a judge, meanwhile, ordered nine other catalan separatist leaders held in prison while the courts investigate their efforts to break catalonia free of spain and create an independent republic.spain’s...






failing at home, catalan leader takes his fight to europe


brussels — facing possible criminal charges at home that could put him behind bars for decades, ousted catalan leader carles puigdemont took his bid for independence from spain to the heart of europe on tuesday, attempting to portray his secessionist movement as persecuted underdogs who deserve international backing in their fight against madrid.a spanish judge, meanwhile, ordered puigdemont and the rest of his ousted cabinet to appear for questioning later this week as part of a rebellion probe. whether they appear or not, the judge is likely to decide as soon as friday on whether to issue arrest warrants.in a high-profile appearance before international media in the belgian capital, puigdemont kept up his defiant tone against the spanish government's relentless efforts to thwart his sece






ex-catalan leader turns self in to belgian police | belgium news


sacked by spanish authorities, ex-catalan leader carles puigdemont has turned himself in to belgian police after an eu-wide arrest warrant was issued.four other cabinet members also turned themselves in at 9.17am local time on sunday, according to the belgian prosecutor's office.the five are due to appear in court later in the day when an investigative judge will decide whether to detain or release them.the arrest warrant, which puigdemont is expected to contest, was issued on friday. he was wanted by madrid for "lying" and "disobedience".al jazeera's david chater, reporting from the brussels prosecutor's office, said: "[puigdemont] was saying all along he was going to cooperate with the judicial authorities here. he is now in the hands of police having surrendered himself."if [the five] g






ex-catalan leader turns self in to belgian police | news


sacked by spanish authorities, ex-catalan leader carles puigdemont has turned himself in to belgian police after an eu-wide arrest warrant was issued.four other cabinet members also turned themselves in at 9.17am local time on sunday, according to the belgian prosecutor's office. the five were are due to appear in court on sunday when an investigative judge will decide whether to detain or release them.the arrest warrant, which puigdemont is expected to contest, was issued on friday. he was wanted by madrid for lying and disobedience.al jazeera's david chater, reporting from the brussels prosecutor's office, said: "[puigdemont] was saying all along he was going to cooperate with the judicial authorities here. he is now in the hands of police having surrendered himself."if they give good gr






belgium studying spanish warrant for ex-catalan leader


brussels — belgian state prosecutors on sunday were examining international arrest warrants issued by spain for the ousted leader of catalonia and other members of his disbanded cabinet.carles puigdemont and four of his ex-ministers fled to belgium this past week after being removed from power by spanish authorities as part of an extraordinary crackdown to impede the region's illegal declaration of independence.federal prosecutors in belgium said on saturday that they were studying the warrants and that they had shared them with city counterparts in brussels.a spanish national court judge issued warrants for the five separatist politicians on suspicion of rebellion, rebellion and embezzlement on friday, a day after the same judge sent another eight former catalan cabinet members to jail wi






why catalonia should be given a say on its future | politics


in spain, the same slogan is repeated over and over again: "the independence of catalonia is impossible". it's absurd to hear such unappealable judgment in the 21st century. if there is one thing we should have learned from politics this century, it is that everything once considered "impossible" could become "unlikely", and what used to be "unlikely" may end up happening.before 2014, no one could have imagined that the scottish people would get an opportunity to decide on their own future. no one thought the uk could vote to leave the european union only two years after scotland's independence referendum. who could have imagined donald trump would become president of the united states? in france, who could have thought that marine le pen would make it to the second round of the presidenti






spain tense as catalonia moves toward secession


barcelona—catalonia set a course toward declaring its secession from spain as soon as monday after separatist parties requested the regional parliament convene that day to review the results of this week’s independence vote, injecting further tension in the standoff with the spanish government.the request came on wednesday as catalan president carles puigdemont made a televised address in which he took issue with a speech spain’s king made the previous evening admonishing catalonia’s leaders for “inadmissible disloyalty.”...






spain: police arrest 8 suspected of ties to brussels attacks


madrid — police in spain's northeastern region of catalonia say they have arrested eight suspected members of a jihadi group with ties to the cells that carried out the 2016 suicide bomb attacks in brussels' airport and subway.a police statement says the operation took place tuesday with raids in five towns, including the regional capital barcelona.police say the arrests followed an eight-month investigation in coordination with belgian police that linked several of the arrested to jihadist organizations as well as organized crime activity.police said the suspects were moroccans residents in catalonia and aged between 21 and 39.spanish police have arrested some 200 suspected jihadi activists since spain raised its national security alert to one step below the maximum in 2015.






puigdemont: what goes for scotland, goes for catalonia | spain


catalonia is a prosperous region in the northeast of spain, a state formed by 17 territories and two cities, partially autonomous, governed by the statute of autonomy.that's part of the spanish constitution which establishes the limits of self-rule for each region.there's no social conflict; it's a political conflict between a spanish state that does not understand that catalonia is a nation with the right to decide and is tired of the state not complying and of having to renounce being catalan to be spanish.carles puigdemont, president of catalonia but catalonian history dates back to the days before spain was even a nation.in 1469, when king ferdinand ii of aragon and isabella i of castile married, catalonia, a principality within aragon, kept its independence, own institutions, parliame






what next for catalonia? key questions answered | catalonia


the catalan parliament on friday voted to declare independence from spain, prompting celebrations in barcelona and a strong response from the central government in madrid.within an hour, the spanish senate authorised prime minister mariano rajoy's government to impose direct rule over catalonia. the crisis began when catalans voted to secede from spain in a banned referendum that was met with police violence on october 1.as the political crisis unfolds, we answer some of the most important questions about the future of catalonia. what next for catalan leaders?rajoy has fired catalonia's regional government, including its leader, carles puigdemont.speaking after a crisis cabinet meeting to decide madrid's measures, rajoy declared the dissolution of the catalan parliament and called a snap e






what next for catalonia? key questions answered | catalonia


the catalan parliament on friday voted to declare independence from spain, prompting celebrations in barcelona and a strong response from the central government in madrid.within an hour, the spanish senate authorised prime minister mariano rajoy's government to impose direct rule over catalonia. the crisis began when catalans voted to secede from spain in a banned referendum that was met with police violence on october 1.as the political crisis unfolds, we answer some of the most important questions about the future of catalonia. what next for catalan leaders?rajoy has fired catalonia's regional government, including its leader, carles puigdemont.speaking after a crisis cabinet meeting to decide madrid's measures, rajoy declared the dissolution of the catalan parliament and called a snap e






what next for catalonia? key questions answered | catalonia


the catalan parliament on friday voted to declare independence from spain, prompting celebrations in barcelona and a strong response from the central government in madrid.within an hour, the spanish senate authorised prime minister mariano rajoy's government to impose direct rule over catalonia. the crisis began when catalans voted to secede from spain in a banned referendum that was met with police violence on october 1.as the political crisis unfolds, we answer some of the most important questions about the future of catalonia. what next for catalan leaders?rajoy has fired catalonia's regional government, including its leader, carles puigdemont.speaking after a crisis cabinet meeting to decide madrid's measures, rajoy declared the dissolution of the catalan parliament and called a snap e






spain tense as catalonia moves toward declaring secession


barcelona—catalonia set a course toward declaring its secession from spain as soon as monday after separatist parties requested the regional parliament convene that day to review the results of this week’s independence vote, injecting further tension in the standoff with the spanish government.the request came on wednesday as catalan president carles puigdemont made a televised address in which he took issue with a speech spain’s king made the previous evening admonishing catalonia’s leaders for “inadmissible disloyalty.”...






belgium studying spanish warrant for ex-catalan leader


brussels (ap) — belgian state prosecutors on sunday were examining international arrest warrants issued by spain for the ousted leader of catalonia and other members of his disbanded cabinet.carles puigdemont and four of his ex-ministers fled to belgium this past week after being removed from power by spanish authorities as part of an extraordinary crackdown to impede the region’s illegal declaration of independence.federal prosecutors in belgium said on saturday that they were studying the warrants and that they had shared them with city counterparts in brussels.a spanish national court judge issued warrants for the five separatist politicians on suspicion of rebellion, rebellion and embezzlement on friday, a day after the same judge sent another eight former catalan cabinet members to ja






what next for catalonia? key questions answered | catalonia


the catalan parliament on friday voted to declare independence from spain, prompting celebrations in madrid and a strong response from the central government in madrid.within an hour, the spanish senate authorised spanish prime minister mariano rajoy's government to impose direct rule over catalonia. the crisis began when catalans voted to secede from spain in a banned referendum that was met with police violence on october 1.as the political crisis unfolds, we answer some of the most important questions about the future of catalonia. what next for catalan leaders? rajoy has fired catalonia's regional government, including its leader, carles puigdemont.speaking after a crisis cabinet meeting to decide madrid's measures, rajoy declared the dissolution of the catalan parliament and called a






belgium hopes to act on arrest warrant for catalan leader who is in hiding


the ousted leader of catalonia remained the subject of a european arrest warrant saturday as questions mounted over how long he would elude the spanish justice system by staying undercover in belgium and delaying extradition.former catalan president carles puigdemont and several members of his separatist government fled north to brussels after spanish authorities removed the region's top officials from office a week ago. it is thought that puigdemont and four others still are in belgium, but sources close to them would not reveal their whereabouts.puigdemont wrote in dutch on his twitter account saturday that he would "cooperate" with belgian authorities, although his lawyer has said the pro-independence politician would fight a forced return to spain."we are prepared to fully cooperate wi






the latest: catalan ex-president in custody in brussels


brussels — the latest on the spain-catalonia political crisis (all times local):2:15 p.m.brussels prosecutors say that ousted catalan president carles puigdemont and four ex-ministers have been taken into custody to start the process of their possible extradition to spain.a spokesman for the brussels prosecutor's office, gilles dejemeppe, says the five presented themselves to federal police and have been in custody since 9 a.m. (0800 gmt; 3 a.m. est). he said that they have not been arrested and that puigdemont and the four ex-ministers will be heard by an investigative judge sunday afternoon.the judge will have to decide what the next steps are within 24 hours. they could vary from arrest and imprisonment to conditional release.the five had fled to belgium this week after being removed fr






ex-catalan leader angling to stay out of spanish justice


brussels (ap) — ousted catalan leader carles puigdemont was a wanted man after spain issued a european warrant for his arrest — and the main question saturday was how long he could delay the extradition process in belgium and stay out of the hands of spanish justice.puigdemont and several aides fled to belgium after they were fired by spanish authorities after lawmakers in catalonia voted to declare independence from spain despite repeated warnings that it would violate the nation’s constitution. it is thought that all five are still hiding in belgium — their exact whereabouts are unclear.the deepening crisis over catalonia is spain’s worst constitutional challenge in nearly four decades. puigdemont and the four other former ministers are being sought for five different crimes, including r






catalonia independence: all the latest updates | news


catalonia's parliament declared independence from spain on friday in defiance of the central government, in madrid.the spanish government responded by approving direct rule in the breakaway region.spanish prime minister mariano rajoy dissolved the regional parliament and called for elections on december 21. below are all the latest updates on friday's declaration and the spanish government's response:17:01 local time, october 29'puigdemont can ask for political asylum in belgium' theo francken, the belgian minister of asylum and migration, has said that belgium might offer political asylum to catalans."catalans that fear they might be prosecuted in spain can ask for political asylum in belgium. and that includes prime minister [carles] puigdemont," francken said in an interview with belgia






the latest: european official: spain decision 'right thing'


barcelona, spain — the latest on the spain-catalonia political crisis (all times local):8:30 p.m.the european parliament's president says that spain's decision to call a new election in catalonia after the region's unilateral declaration of independence "was the right thing to do."antonio tajani spoke to reporters saturday while leaving the vatican after a forum on europe's future.tajani said that europe's position is very clear: "no one will ever recognize catalonia as an independent country. the referendum was illegal ... the state of law should be restored."he said that the election will allow catalans to "decide what kind of government they want to have. all should happen according to the spanish constitution."tajani added that europe hopes that dialogue can help resolve the "difficult






ex-catalan leader angling to stay out of spanish justice


brussels — ousted catalan leader carles puigdemont was a wanted man after spain issued a european warrant for his arrest — and the main question saturday was how long he could delay the extradition process in belgium and stay out of the hands of spanish justice.puigdemont and several aides fled to belgium after they were fired by spanish authorities after lawmakers in catalonia voted to declare independence from spain despite repeated warnings that it would violate the nation's constitution. it is thought that all five are still hiding in belgium — their exact whereabouts are unclear.the deepening crisis over catalonia is spain's worst constitutional challenge in nearly four decades. puigdemont and the four other former ministers are being sought for five different crimes, including rebell






the latest: puigdemont says vote crackdown boosting support


madrid — the latest on catalonia's disputed independence referendum (all times local):8:30 p.m.catalonia's leader says spain's crackdown on a controversial independence referendum is boosting support for the vote in a way that european institutions won't be able to ignore.regional president carles puigdemont criticized the european commission in an interview wednesday with the associated press for turning "deaf ears" so far to catalonia's desire to hold a vote.puigdemont also said that the commission has turned its back on catalans by not defending the fundamental rights of all european citizens during the controversial measures adopted by spain's courts and central authorities to try to stop the vote.in the interview four days ahead of the vote, puigdemont also promised to turn the confli






catalonia crisis: spain issues warrant for puigdemont


image copyrightreutersimage caption mr puigdemont has called for his colleagues to be released a spanish judge has issued european arrest warrants (eaw) for sacked catalan leader carles puigdemont and four of his allies who went to belgium.the five failed to attend a high court hearing in madrid on thursday when nine other ex-members of the regional government were taken into custody.one of those detained has been freed on bail of €50,000 (£44,000; $58,000). they all face charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds for pursuing catalan independence.the regional parliament voted to proclaim an independent republic a week ago, following an illegal referendum on independence organised by the catalan government on 1 octoberno other country recognised the move and the spanish cent






spain to propose measures to strip catalonia of powers


barcelona—catalonia’s leader defied an ultimatum from madrid on thursday by failing to renounce his push for independence, prompting the spanish government to gear up for stripping the region of some of its powers. prime minister mariano rajoy has called an extraordinary cabinet meeting for saturday, where the government will invoke a never-before used article of spain’s constitution to reduce some of the wide autonomy that catalonia enjoys....






spain seizes power in catalonia after region declares independence


barcelona—the spanish government ousted catalonia’s leaders on friday, hours after separatist lawmakers declared the wealthy region an independent republic, plunging the country into its greatest political quagmire in decades. prime minister mariano rajoy also said he was dissolving catalonia’s parliament and set new legislative elections for dec. 21, invoking emergency constitutional powers granted to him by spain’s senate earlier in the day....






catalan leader's letter doesn't clarify independence status


barcelona, spain — catalonia's leader hasn't clarified whether he declared independence from spain in a letter to the central government and has renewed a call for dialogue.last week, spain had set a monday deadline for carles puigdemont to explicitly say whether or not he proclaimed that catalonia was breaking away from spain.puigdemont held a banned independence referendum on oct. 1 and then made an ambiguous declaration of independence last week. he then immediately suspended the declaration to allow time for talks and mediation.in monday's letter, puigdemont didn't answer "yes" or "no" to the question "have you declared independence in catalonia" as demanded by the spanish government. he called for two months of dialogue and requested that spanish authorities halt "all repression" in c






catalonia steps up separatist challenge with oct. 1 vote


barcelona, spain — catalonia's regional government has chosen oct. 1 as the date for a referendum on a split from spain, stepping up the confrontation with the country's central government, which sees the vote as illegal.regional president carles puigdemont said catalans will be asked if they want catalonia to be an independent republic.he made the long-awaited announcement in a televised statement, surrounded by members of his cabinet following a brief meeting.prime minister mariano rajoy's conservative government didn't comment immediately but has previously said that it won't allow the vote because it considers it unconstitutional.puigdemont has said he remains open to dialogue with madrid but that the vote is nonnegotiable.catalonia, whose capital is barcelona, accounts for a fifth of






economic worry in catalonia amid unanswered mediation calls


barcelona, spain — political uncertainty over the future of catalonia's secession bid has started spreading to the economy, with stock markets falling and big catalan firms relocating — or considering a move — elsewhere in spain.executives in banco sabadell, one of catalonia's largest banks, are set to decide later thursday on whether to move the company's official registration from barcelona in order to remain under european regulations even if regional separatist authorities succeed in declaring independence as early as next week.the news pushed the bank's shares up 4 percent, following heavy losses of almost 10 percent this week. on wednesday, spanish stocks suffered the biggest drop since the brexit referendum in the u.k. last year.in a sign that investors are taking the financial risk






catalonia's long push for independence | news


catalonia has dominated international headlines in recent weeks in the wake of a banned referendum on splitting away from spain.yet, the region in the northeast of spain, which has its own language and distinct customs, has a long history of striving for independence.one of spain's wealthiest region, catalonia today accounts for 15 percent of spain's population and 20 percent of its economic output. historical disputes and financial grievances have strengthened the cause of independence, yet its 7.5 million people appear to be deeply divided over the issue.a defined region of catalonia was first referenced in the 12th century. the region has been part of spain since its unification in the 15th century, following the marriage of ferdinand i of aragon and queen isabella of castile.despite al






catalonia’s bid for independence sows deep divisions among family, friends


san cugat del valles, spain—every night at 10 p.m., josé domingo’s building becomes a microcosm of the divide that has riven catalonia, pitting those who want independence for the region against those who believe it should remain united with spain.each evening, around a dozen neighbors step onto their balconies in this well-heeled town outside barcelona and bang pots and pans to show their support for the independence of the wealthy region in northeastern spain. ...






theresa may 'to discuss trade' with president erdogan on turkey visit


image copyrightpatheresa may is set to discuss a post-brexit trade deal with turkey during weekend talks in the country with president recep tayyip erdogan.the prime minister arrived in ankara from the us, where she met president trump.a new trading relationship with turkey following the uk's exit from the european union would form part of discussions, number 10 said. the pm is also expected to discuss security, mrs may's spokeswoman said.the spokeswoman added: "they will be discussing a new trade relationship [and] a strategic security partnership."it comes as brexit secretary david davis predicted a "round of global trade deals" would be "fully negotiated" within 12 to 24 months, coming into force when the uk leaves the eu.the government plans to begin the formal two-year brexit process