Catalan exile returns to St Andrews

Graham Keeley, Madrid

March 12 2018, 12:01am, The Times

Clara Ponsati, who was Catalan education minister, is wanted in Spain for sedition after the region’s independence declaration
Clara Ponsati, who was Catalan education minister, is wanted in Spain for sedition after the region’s independence declarationA fugitive former member of the Catalan government has moved to Scotland from Belgium, where she fled after the region’s declaration of secession.

Clara Ponsati, who was the education minister, has returned to a post at the University of St Andrews school of economics and finance. In a tweet that appeared to taunt Madrid, she wrote: “Catalan exile reaches the United Kingdom. Enjoying my freedom of movement as a European citizen, this week I am now back at the University of St Andrews.”

Ms Ponsati escaped to Belgium from Spain along with Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan leader, and three of his former ministers days after the independence declaration in October. Madrid sacked the government and called snap elections. Ms Ponsati and the others face charges of rebellion and sedition and risk arrest if they return to Spain.


International arrest warrants were issued for all five separatist leaders, but they were withdrawn. The warrant for Ms Ponsati could be reactivated now that she is in the UK but this seems unlikely as Spain did not do so when Mr Puigdemont travelled to Denmark.

A spokesman for the University of St Andrews said: “We are delighted that [Clara Ponsati] has recently returned to her research work at St Andrews.”