Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont hands himself in to police in Belgium

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November 3: A Spanish judge issues an worldwide arrest warrant for Puigdemont and four aides who were last seen in Brussels.

The five presented themselves to federal police at around 9 a.m. (0800 GMT; 3 a.m. EST), Brussels prosecutor's office spokesman Gilles Dejemeppe.

On Thursday, nine members of Puigdemont's sacked cabinet were ordered by Spain's High Court to be held on remand pending an investigation and potential trial. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy removed him from office in October, but Puigdemont said that he doesn't recognize his removal from office.

A judge in Madrid was on Friday set to issue an European Union arrest warrant for Catalonia's deposed leader over his region's tumultuous independence drive, in a move likely to take tensions to a new level in Spain's worst political crisis in decades.

DW reporter Charlotte Chelsom-Pill, who was at the scene, said demonstrators chanted "We are not afraid" as they waited for the return of the six Catalan officials who appeared in the Supreme Court.

". I am ready to be a candidate.it's possible to run a campaign from anywhere".

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In protest at the jailings, Catalan civic groups Asamblea Nacional Catalana and Omnium Cultural - whose leaders were imprisoned last month on sedition charges - called for a general strike on November 8 and a mass demonstration on November 11.

Vila stepped down from the Catalan cabinet before the independence declaration. But Mas said the main goals of secession supporters must be recovering self-rule and the release of the jailed separatists.

Also in the interview he said that he was "willing to be a candidate" in the regional elections on December 21 and added that he could campaign from overseas.

Puigdemont then fled to Belgium.

Fueled by questions of cultural identity and economic malaise, secessionist sentiment has skyrocketed to reach roughly half of the 7.5 million residents of Catalonia, a prosperous region that is proud of its Catalan language spoken along with Spanish.

"We could offer a new dialogue so that we can fulfil Catalans' aspirations for more autonomy and look into reforming the constitution", Foreign Affairs Minister Alfonso Dastis told French newspaper Le Figaro in an interview.

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