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Carles Puigdemont has responded to the words of the Spanish minister for the PM's department, Félix Bolaños, who in an interview with public broadcaster RTVE this Friday affirmed that the Catalan president in exile "does not know where his head is" and that he is "stuck in 2017". In a tweet, Puigdemont objected to the Spanish minister's use of personal denigration to attack him and reminded him of the other types of attacks the PSOE has mounted in the past, with reference to the 1980s GAL death squads: "I've been lucky: others were kidnapped, tortured and killed by his party. And buried in quicklime."

The Spanish minister opened up about the pro-independence MEP this morning. "Every day he can be seen further away from Catalonia in the political sense and also in the personal. I don't know where his head is, but what he should do is return to Spain, settle accounts with justice and that would make things easier", said Bolaños. For his part, Puigdemont responded forcefully: "Since I see that he is talking about me without my having asked him to, I suggest that he do some documentation: he will surely find arguments to criticize me more consistently than the denigration and contempt they tend to practice." Finally, the president recalled the past of the 1980s GAL death squads which were authorised under the PSOE government of the time as a way of getting rid of the Basque terrorists of ETA.


Bolaños rails against the clarity agreement

For the Spanish minister, closely involved with the Sánchez executive's relations with Catalonia, it is not the first time he has let fly blunt one-line responses on Catalan issues. In fact, this Friday he not only belittled the exile of Puigdemont, but also the new plans of the current Catalan government to address the political conflict. Bolaños described the Clarity Agreement proposed by the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, as "unilateral and electoralist". Asked if he will hold any meeting with the Catalan leader outside the news spotlight, he replied that "this time there won't be one" and advocated that negotiations should be carried out discreetly and, once any agreement is reached, be made public. 

"It is a very legitimate party proposal at an electoral moment for electoral purposes", he said when asked about the PSC's unwillingness to back Aragonès's proposal. Bolaños expressed pride in the work of the PSOE in the Catalan conflict: "With a lot of work we have managed to get Catalonia to overcome a lost decade", he said. However, he did not submit a counter-proposal to the Clarity Agreement proposed by Aragonès. What he did do was to rule out any kind of consultation or referendum, stating that it made no sense to "return to the worst Catalonia of the last decades."