Madrid government compared to Franco regime

The leader of the biggest party in Belgium’s government has said Spain’s governing Popular Party is increasingly harking back to the days of dictator Francisco Franco half a century ago.

N-VA leader Bart De Wever told VRT network today: "You know where the past of the Popular Party is, and ever more its present, and it is Franco, it is repression, it is jailing people because of their opinion, it is the use of violence against its citizens."

Mr De Wever himself is not a member of the centre-right government but he speaks for his party, which is key in the four-party coalition of Belgium’s prime minister Charles Michel.

Belgian judicial authorities will have to decide whether to extradite ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont to Spain.

Mr De Wever remained noncommittal on what his party would do if the courts decide to send him back.

Mr De Wever has called Mr Puigdemont "a friend".

"Firstly, it is a judicial decision, and we have to wait for it.

"So, if there is a decision we will assess the situation," Mr De Wever said.

"This is not a judicial conflict it is a political conflict. You solve it with dialogue."

AP


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