The president of Catalonia is reportedly considering his options as he remains threatened with arrest for rebelling against the Spanish constitution by calling for independence.
He has received an offer from a French-Catalan organisation to install his government across the border in France.
Robert Casanovas, the leader of the Committee for the Self-Determination of North Catalonia, told reporters: “We have offered Puigdemont and his government hospitality in the region of Perpignan near the Spanish border.”
He said he had prepared “a villa” for the Catalan leader and “50 houses for the members of his government” in Théza, across the border.
Arrangements are being made “to be ready before the border is blocked if the situation worsens”.
The region of Catalonia historically extends over the Spanish border into France, over the Pyrenees mountain range – so Mr Puigdemont could feel right at home there.
It comes after Catalan separatists vowed to form a human shield around the region’s parliament in Barcelona to prevent Spanish authorities arresting him.
Protesters said they would do anything they could to protect Catalonia’s regional president amid fears he would be jailed for advocating independence.
Spain’s public prosecutor is currently preparing a lawsuit against Mr Puigdemont over the independence vote.
He is expected to be arrested for the crime of rebellion against the Spanish constitution. He could be facing a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
The crime of rebellion is defined as an uprising designed to “repeal, suspend or totally or partially modify the Constitution” or “declare independence of a part of the national territory”.
The controversial referendum on Catalonia’s independence has been declared illegal and unconstitutional by Spanish authorities as separatists did not follow proper legal procedure in calling the vote.
Meanwhile Spain’s government has seized control of the region in a power grab to block independence.
Source : EXPRESS