Spanish MEP Carles Puigdemont has issued a warning over support for Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)


Puigdemont threatens to withdraw support from Spanish PM Sánchez


Spanish MEP Carles Puigdemont has threatened to withdraw his party’s support for the ruling coalition in Spain’s Parliament.

The former regional president said his separatist Junts per Catalunya’s seven MPs will no longer back Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Government should the Socialist Party (PSOE) support a non-separatist majority in Catalonia’s regional Parliament. Snap elections have been called for May 12 .

“If the Socialists ‘pull a Collboni’, these will be the consequences,” said Puigdemont, who is campaigning in exile in from France for the region’s top job.

He was referring to Jaume Collboni, the current Socialist Mayor of Barcelona, who received a majority in the city’s Parliament thanks to the backing of the centre-right People’s Party (PP).

Puigdemont has ruled out the possibility of a coalition led by Salvador Illa, Sánchez’s former health minister and current President of Catalonia’s Socialist Party, with the leftist Catalunya en Comú and the separatist Esquerra Republicana party.

“For Illa to have the presidency [of a coalition] he needs a large absolute majority,” Puigdemont added.

“It would be difficult to achieve without the help of the PP.”

In a scenario where Junts won the election but needed Socialist support to build a parliamentary majority, “Illa will know what he has to do,” said Puigdemont.

He conceded that he would have “nothing else to say” if the separatist forces fail to build a majority in the Catalonia Parliament “because the numbers do not add up”.

“That would be the will of the Catalan people.”

The latest polls predict a victory for the Socialists in the Catalan Parliament but not enough seats to secure an absolute majority.

The PP, which is expected to better its results from the last election in 2021, could facilitate a Illa-led Government.

If the Socialists gain power with the help of the PP, Puigdemont warned that would preclude Junts from “continuing to support a person [Sánchez] who did not win the general election and is only Prime Minister because of our votes”.

According to Puigdemont, if the PP supported the Socialists “no one would understand” if he continued to back the agreement between his party and the Socialists to make Sánchez Prime Minister.

The Spanish Parliament passed a controversial bill in mid-March this year granting an amnesty to those, including Puigdemont, who participated in a Catalan declaration of independence.