In Conversation – Carles Puigdemont, the exiled former Catalan leader and mastermind of the controversial 2017 independence referendum
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Carles Puigdemont, exiled former Catalan leader and mastermind of the controversial 2017 independence referendum joins us for an hour at the Frontline Cub to explain the Catalan crisis and answer press and audience questions.
Just over two months ago over a million Catalonians took to the streets of Barcelona calling for independence and the release of their imprisoned separatist leaders.
Nine leading separatist politicians have been in Spanish prisons for twelve months and they face trial in the new year on charges of rebellion and sedition.
The prosecution is asking for prison sentences of up to 25 years. This week, four of these prisoners announced that they were starting a hunger strike to draw attention to their plight.
Those Catalans separatist leaders who are not awaiting trial in the Spanish courts are living in exile in Scotland, Belgium and Switzerland.
The Madrid Government has remained opposed to a binding self-determination referendum, and has so far declined to negotiate over the fate of the political prisoners.
The entire independence movement is now rethinking its strategy as Spain’s new socialist government makes cautious offers of limited talks. Perhaps there is greater hope for a solution to the crisis.
In this timely visit to London we will ask Carles Puigdemont what he thinks the future holds for Catalonia.
photograph courtesy of Thierry Ehrmann via Creative Commons