madrid - Oriol Junqueras, leader of the left-wing Catalan party Esquerra Republicana (ER), said he no longer wants unconditional separation from Spain. He wants to consult with Madrid about a form of Catalan independence within Spain.
Junqueras, the second man behind Carles Puigdemont in the last Catalan government, said this from his cell. He is stuck because he is suspected of rebelling against the Spanish state. The ER is the most important pro-independence party in Catalonia. The words of Junqueras come a few days before the important elections in Catalonia that are held on Thursday.
'When I become President of Catalonia, we continue to strive for independence, but we also build bridges and shake hands with the Spanish state. I assure you that we are first democrats and only then separatists, 'says Junqueras.
If elections were to be held, the separatists in the Catalan parliament would lose their majority. According to polls, the parties who want independence from Spain still have 67 of the 135 seats.