Catalonia's Carles Puigdemont calls on Madrid to 'respect democracy'

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Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has made a renewed call for Spanish authorities to open negotiations over Catalonia's secession claim, a day after he was released from a German prison.

Ms. Barley claimed that it was now up to Spain to prove that their additional prices against Mr. Puigdemont, which she said "won't even be more easy".

Puigdemont said he had not anticipated being arrested in Germany despite Spain having issued a European arrest warrant, but said he accepts the risks that travelling held for him.

Puigdemont added that the Spanish government needs to acknowledge that Catalan sovereignty is a reality.

"My duty is to remain here in Germany until the end of the judicial process here ..."

On Thursday, a German court ruled that he could not be extradited on grounds of rebellion, as the equivalent charge under German law, treason, requires a defendant to have committed violence. "It is my residence now until the end of this process".

The former Catalan leader was arrested last month as he entered Germany.

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The Spanish government has accused Puigdemont of provoking an uprising by attempting to declare Catalonia an independent state after a referendum past year the government says was illegal.

She stated that if Spain couldn't prove the allegations of misuse of public funds, "afterward Puigdemont would be a free man in a absolutely free country - notably in Germany".

He was trying to drive from Finland to Belgium, where he had been living since fleeing to escape arrest in Spain.

"We feel that comments on judges' decisions at this point are not appropriate", he told reporters in the southern Spanish city of Seville.

The Spanish government has said it would respect the German court's decision.

Misuse of public funds carries a sentence of around eight years at Spain, while a rebellion sentence can hit 30 years.

Spain's Supreme Court reactivated global arrest warrants last month for Puigdemont and four other Catalan politicians who went into self-imposed exile a year ago.

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