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Catalonia's Carles Puigdemont has ended the year on the world news pages once again. His New Year speech, delivered from Belgium, made a wide impact in international media beyond the Spanish state. Three of the world's leading news agencies, Reuters, Agence France Presse and Ansa highlighted Puigdemont's demand that Spain accept Catalonia's election result and restore its self-government. The pan-European television network Euronews also used this angle.

The same emphasis is used by most of the international headlines: Puigdemont's call for the Spanish government to recognize the results of the Catalan elections and return the Catalan institutions to the state they were in before the application of direct rule under article 155 of the Spanish constitution.The North American agency Associated Press story along these lines is the basis for that published by the The New York Times among others, as well as Radio Canada. Meanwhile, Reuters concludes that "the election failed to resolve Spain’s biggest political crisis in decades".

The news had a special resonance in Belgium, where the acting Catalan president has been living since October, and where the press notice of the French agency was echoed by the liberal newspaper Le Soir and by the public broadcaster Rtbf.

Translation: Crisis in Catalonia: Carles Puigdemont "demands" the restoration of his government. 

In France, the media told the story the same way. Leading centre-left newspaper Le Monde adds a summary of the current situation, quoting Citzens party leader Inés Arrimadas as accusing Puigdemont of "wanting to direct Catalonia by Whatsapp".

The liberal magazine L'Express and alternative left newspaper Libération also stressed the same aspect, basing their articles on the story syndicated by Agence France Presse, as did the British conservative daily The Daily Telegraph, the Swiss newspaper of record Neue Zürcher Zeitung, and the German international public broadcaster Deutsche Welle. 

Other media chose another part of Puigdemont's message to highlight: that his call for Rajoy to negotiate a solution has been validated by the results of the Catalan election. This is an angle found in North American news channel CNN, the influential German magazine Der Spiegel and the also-German public radio network Deutschlandfunk.

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