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Pro-independence Catalan party threatens to withdraw support for Pedro Sanchez

Carles Puigdemont threatened to topple the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez if progress isn't made on independence
Carles Puigdemont threatened to topple the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez if progress isn't made on independence

THE leader of a pro-independence Catalan party has threatened to withdraw support for the Spanish Prime Minister’s government if “sufficient progress” is not made towards negotiating independence.

Carles Puigdemont is the leader of the Junts party, one of two pro-independence Catalan parties currently propping up Pedro Sanchez’s coalition government.

Despite Sanchez’s centre-left PSOE party coming second in July’s elections, he scraped together support from Catalan, Basque and Galician pro-independence parties to secure a majority of just four seats.

In exchange for voting in Sanchez’s government, amnesty was granted to all those who participated in the 2017 Catalan referendum – including Puigdemont, who has been living in exile in Belgium.

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However, speaking to Brussels Playbook on Tuesday night, the Junts leader said his party would consider a motion of no confidence in Sanchez if it could agree on an independent replacement prime minister with the conservative Popular Party (PP).

The PP won the most votes in July’s elections but failed to form a government.

Puigdemont told Playbook that if there “is not sufficient progress” towards recognising Catalonia as a nation then “we could vote with the PP to topple the budget.

“But for that, the PP must make a step toward us … they cannot keep treating me like a terrorist.”

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But PP leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo told Spanish media that he could not “accept” supporting Puigdemont’s “conditions” on Catalan independence, claiming “they are illegal and go against the constitution and equality of Spaniards.

“I have not changed my position. I cannot accept what Mr Sanchez has accepted.”