>> Sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont will not return to Spain to testify on Thursday. Although he could answer charges from Belgium, his lawyer said. He fled there on Monday with other members of his government after a tumultuous few days. They started with Catalonia declaring independence on Friday, in response to which Spain imposed direct rule on the autonomous region and ended with the state prosecutor charging Puigdemont with rebellion, sedition, and misuse of public funds.
He defied the central government in October by holding a referendum on Catalan independence. On the street, Catalans are divided on Puigdemont and his government's actions. Even in the town of Berga, long considered a bastion of Catalan's separatism and ruled by a pro-independence party.>>
> Puigdemont and 13 other Catalan officials have been summoned for Thursday and Friday.
So people who believe in them are calmed down and don't suffer. We are suffering a bit, because Spanish politicians are playing like a catch using a dog.>>
A no-show could result in Spain issuing an arrest warrant for Puigdemont. That would make it almost impossible for him to stand in a snap regional election called for December by Madrid, in an attempt to resolve Spain's worst crisis in decades.