The deposed Catalan vice president, Oriol Junqueras, has called on the new Spanish government to “take risks.” In an interview published on Monday, the leader of the pro-independence ERC party, who has spent more than seven months in pre-trial jail, said that new Spanish president Pedro Sánchez can choose between making “superficial changes” or acting like a “statesman.” Junqueras also demanded “respect for the millions of Catalans” represented by the pro-independence leaders, while urging Sánchez to “make a move.”

While overall Junqueras did not specify what gestures he would like to see from the Spanish government, he did point to one that he described as “very clear:” the transfer of jailed leaders to Catalan prisons, a debate that has gained in intensity in recent days. The nine individuals held in custody in three jails in the Madrid region are between 600km and 700km away from their relatives, leading them to demand they be moved closer to home. The new Spanish minister of public administrations, Meritxell Batet, said last weekend that she would “welcome” the transfer of leaders to local prisons. Yet the People’s Party, ousted from power 10 days ago, has warned the Socialists not to “interfere” in judicial decisions.

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