Tags: EU | Denmark | Spain | Catalonia

Group of Danish Lawmakers Meets Catalan Ex-leader Puigdemont

Group of Danish Lawmakers Meets Catalan Ex-leader Puigdemont

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 05:52 AM

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A small group of Danish lawmakers met Tuesday with Catalan ex-leader Carles Puigdemont at Denmark's Parliament, saying that listening to him is the best way to understand what is going on in Spain's Catalonia region.

Puigdemont was welcomed to Parliament by a Faeroese lawmaker who had invited Puigdemont for the unofficial meeting with less than a dozen politicians during his visit to Denmark from self-imposed exile in Belgium. He spoke at the University of Copenhagen on Monday after a Spanish judge refused to ask Danish authorities to arrest Puigdemont.

Lawmaker Magni Arge said it's best to hear his views from "the horse's mouth."

Arge, a member of the left-wing Republican Party from the Faeroe Islands, a semi-autonomous Danish territory, scolded Danish government and opposition lawmakers for rejecting invitations to meet Puigdemont.

"One can start to understand each other by talking together, not by ignoring each other," he said.

Holger K. Nielsen, a former foreign minister and member of left-wing Socialist People's Party, said that although he doesn't agree with Puigdemont "it is important that we get an explanation from him about what he wants."

In Denmark, any elected member of the 179-seat Folketing assembly can invite anyone to speak before lawmakers in a closed meeting.

Puigdemont's journey to Denmark came nearly three months after he was removed from office and fled to Belgium. A warrant for his arrest remains open in Spain, whose justice minister said Tuesday that the country will step up surveillance to ensure that Puigdemont can't re-enter the country undetected.

Spanish authorities are investigating him and other Catalan officials for possible rebellion and sedition charges related to regional parliament's Oct. 27 declaration of independence.

"We are very worried, because we don't know what a person with this behavior might do," Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido told broadcaster Antena 3. He said security forces face a difficult challenge given the large number of possible ways to enter Catalonia.

"We are analyzing all the possibilities," he said. "We are going to make sure that he can't even enter in the trunk of a car."

Aritz Parra in Madrid contributed to this report.

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A small group of Danish lawmakers met Tuesday with Catalan ex-leader Carles Puigdemont at Denmark's Parliament, saying that listening to him is the best way to understand what is going on in Spain's Catalonia region.Puigdemont was welcomed to Parliament by a Faeroese...
EU,Denmark,Spain,Catalonia
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2018-52-23
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 05:52 AM
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