Catalonia's deposed leader Carles Puigdemont gestures during an interview on the sideline of the International film festival and forum of the human rights (FIFDH) on March 18, 2018 in Geneva. / AFP / Fabrice COFFRINI
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Catalonia's deposed leader Carles Puigdemont said in an interview published Sunday that he should have declared independence earlier, as delaying the call hoping to start a dialogue with Madrid proved futile.Puigdemont moved to Belgium after the Catalan parliament unilaterally declared independence on Oct. 27 following a banned referendum on the Spanish region's secession.On Oct. 10, we had planned to proclaim independence, but I decided to suspend the definitive move to leave a door open for dialogue with the Spanish government," he said.He explained that he was urged to do so by sources within the Spanish government.Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government has dissolved Catalonia's parliament and imposed direct rule over the region.The government in Madrid and Spain's highest court insist it is illegal and against the constitution for autonomous regions to declare independence.
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