Catalan leader-elect requests dialogue with Spanish govt

Spain PM and Catalonia's new separatist leader ready to meet

Spain PM and Catalonia's new separatist leader ready to meet

The move is another blow to Spain's attempts to extradite Catalan politicians who moved to other European countries while facing charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds for organizing an illegal independence referendum previous year.

The European arrest warrants - which were issued, dropped and then later reinstated by Spain - were not valid, the Brussels court ruled yesterday.

A Belgian judge on Wednesday rejected an extradition request by Spain for three former Catalan ministers over their region's controversial independence bid, the court said. Last month, a Berlin court refused to extradite Puigdemont on the main charge of rebellion that Madrid levels against him.

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Spain wants the ex-ministers - Meritxell Serret, Antoni Comin, Lluis Puig - to face charges of rebellion, misuse of public funds and disobeying the state for organising last year's referendum on Catalan independence, which Madrid deemed illegal. The Spanish government says it can not grant Catalonia independence, among other reasons, because the Constitution says Spain is "indivisible". He was arrested while travelling in Germany. Madrid dismissed the regional government following the declaration and jailed some Catalan politicians, who stayed in the country.

One of the conditions of the meeting, the head of the government of Spain considers that the consent of the new leader of Catalonia to observe the Constitution, which stipulates the independence of the region, reports AFP.

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