One year after the failed secession of Spain, former Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont has founded a new party. The group called Crida met last night for its founding convention in the Catalan city of Manresa. Puigdemont spoke via video from his exile in Brussels to his followers. He called for the fight for an independent Catalan Republic to continue and called for the independence advocates to be united.
Little chance of success
The success of the new party, with which Puigdemont wants to unite all proponents of independence, seems uncertain. Several leaders of the independence movement are in remand or in exile. Some of Puigdemont’s former allies now hold more moderate positions and refuse to join the new party.
Catalonia’s dispute over Catalan independence escalated last year, when Puigdemont organized a referendum on independence, which the Spanish judiciary considered illegal. Following the vote, the regional government unilaterally proclaimed Catalonia’s independence on 27 October. As a result, the Madrid government suspended Puigdemont and his cabinet.
The former regional president then fled to Belgium and was arrested in March on the basis of a European arrest warrant issued by Spain in transit in the German Schleswig-Holstein. The legal hang-up came to an end in late July when the Madrid Supreme Court reversed the arrest warrant. Puigdemont then returned to Belgium.