Read in Catalan

Catalan president in exile Carles Puigdemont gave an interview this Sunday to the Associated Press, the largest US news agency. In the conversation, published by media worldwide this Monday, Puigdemont says the trial "will not be an act of justice but rather one of vengeance".

He says those in exile and their sympathisers are supporting their colleagues in prison, "helping them because they are suffering a terribly unjust and humiliating situation and being used to set an example", referring to the trial set to start on 12th February.

Puigdemont also criticises what he sees as a double standard from Europe between Catalonia and Venezuela. Whilst the EU has recognised Juan Guaidó as interim president, they ignored Catalonia's declaration of independence.

He says he was elected president by a "democratically impeccable parliament" and "sacked by a man who now only has four members of the regional parliament in Catalonia," referring to the PP party of former prime minister Mariano Rajoy, "This double standard is shameful for Europe".

Looking to the future, he says a time will come when a clear majority of Catalans support independence "and when it does we will have all the legitimacy to take the decisions that we have already decided in parliament and have ratified in a plebiscite". He adds that the 2017 declaration of independence is still valid: "despite the inconveniences, it is valid and it can be activated when we have the conviction and the certainty that it should be".