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Catalan president Carles Puigdemont's appearance this Saturday in the Belgian city of Bruges has been picked up very quickly by the international media. Puigdemont made a speech to present the candidature Together for Catalonia (JuntsXCat) which he is to lead into the Catalan elections on December 21st, assuring that JuntsXCat is the list “that most resembles the concept of unity”, that being the "demand" of a large part of the citizens of Catalonia, in the face of the current situation with article 155 in force and the government partially "in exile" and partially in prison. His messages have received wide coverage from European television, radio and written press:

France 24: “The ballot box must ratify Catalonia's desire for independence”

This 24-hour French news channel has explained that Puigdemont “has called Catalans to make known their desire for independence” and to show the world that they have the ability to become an independent state.

The news channel reminded viewers that “the crisis started with the referendum on 1st October, when a claimed 90% of voters chose to leave Spain” and said that even though the president is awaiting possible extradition, he “is standing as the head of the Together for Catalonia list”.

Le Monde: “Puigdemont wants to make the elections a 'ratification' of independence”

“We, the Catalans, have shown the world that we have the ability and the will to become an independent state. On 21st December we have to ratify that”. With these words by Carles Puigdemont, the French newspaper Le Monde opens its article on today's event in Bruges, where it also highlights the fact that Puigdemont is in Belgium “free but with bail conditions while he waits for Belgian justice to examine the Spanish warrant for his arrest”.

The newspaper states that even though “more than half of the Catalan executive has been arrested, the pro-independence parties have accepted taking part in the elections of 21st December”.

Ansa: “Puigdemont, in the vote for independence”

​The Italian news agency Ansa explains that president Puigdemont has staged a campaign event from his exile “waiting for Belgian justice to decide on the European Arrest Warrant issued by Spain against him”. Like other international media, Ansa highlighted the sentence “to ratify the desire for independence to the rest of the world".

Reuters: “Puigdemont challenges EU to respect election outcome”

Meanwhile, British agency Reuters has highlighted Puigdemont's call to the European institutions to respect the results of the 21st December vote, also underlining the fact that Puigdemont has asked Madrid to end its article 155 intervention in Catalonia if the pro-independence parties win.

“The 21st December elections will be the most important in the history of Catalonia”, is the other quote from the president which the agency chooses to emphasise. Finally, it repeats the words of European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking in Salamanca, where he asked Europe “to reject secessionist poison”.

Russia Today: “Puigdemont presents his party's list for the elections on 21st December”

The television network Russia Today (RT) asserts that “Puigdemont has attacked the central government and the parties that support article 155 of the Constitution”, and adds that “he has also attacked the head of the European Commission for his lack of support to the Catalan independence cause”.

RT highlights Puigdemont's reference to the violence used by Spanish police on 1st October “on the orders of the executive in Madrid”.

Le Soir: “From Bruges, Carles Puigdemont kicks off his campaign for the Catalan elections”

“This is a campaign launch that is more than just atypical”. This is how the Belgian newspaper Le Soir describes today's 21st December campaign meeting, telling its readers that the Catalan president has criticized the lack of unity among the pro-independence parties and saying that this is a “moment for Catalonia and not for the political parties."

RTS: “Carles Puigdemont launches his election campaign for Catalonia”

​Swiss television radio RTS mentions Puigdemont's criticisms of “his previous government partners" for not having agreed to form a unitary list, and of the Spanish executive. The Swiss broadcaster also describes the scene at the campaign event: “Puigdemont presented his list in front of the Catalan and European flags, but without the estelada, the famous Catalan independence flag”.

El Heraldo de México: “From Belgium, Puigdemont launches his campaign for the Catalonia elections”

The Catalan president's speech reached as far as Mexico, with the newspaper El Heraldo de México also highlighting the criticisms he made of the Spanish government and his "former partners in the Catalan government”. Mexican readers were also informed about the absence of the estelada: “not a trace of the independence flag”.

On the other hand, the newspaper mentions that this Saturday in Ibiza the spokesman for the Popular Party (PP) in the Europarliament, Esteban González, “has described the candidature's presentation from Belgium as 'surrealistic'".