Puigdemont rejects 'president's pension'
Accepting it would have meant that he acknowledges being ousted by the Spanish government
The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, exiled in Brussels after being deposed by the Spanish government, has rejected the pension which he would have the right to claim as a former president, at least under Spanish law. The Spanish Finance ministry had asked him whether he would take advantage of this privilege, acceptance of which would have been an admission that Puigdemont had accepted having been ousted. Instead, he announced that he has not asked for this compensation. He does, however, acknowledge having an office, which Catalan former presidents can also claim.
“The [Spanish] state continues to be a machine for humiliating Catalan institutions and citizens,” Puigdemont said on Twitter in reaction to the request by the Spanish cabinet. “Montoro should spend his time getting back the money that was forgiven to the bailed-out banks,” he added, referring to the Spanish Finance ministry. Montoro responded to Puigdemont's refusal by saying that “it makes no sense”. Indeed, the ministry said that what the Catalan leader needs to give up is “his position, which is harming Catalans and Spaniards”.
"The [Spanish] state continues to be a machine for humiliating Catalan institutions and citizens"
Carles Puigdemont · Catalan president
By law, Catalan presidents have the right to claim a pension once they are no longer in the post. During the four years after a presidency, a former president's salary is 80% of their wage while in office. When they turn 65, they can claim a lifelong pension of 60% of the pay they received as president.
Puigdemont has rejected this option, but will still earn his salary as an MP in the Catalan chamber. He is very likely to be elected on December 21, since he leads the Together for Catalonia candidacy, but it is yet unknown whether he will be able to take office as an MP and less clear still whether he can be chosen again as president under Spanish law. At the moment he is in Brussels waiting for the Belgian justice system to decide whether he is to be extradited to Spain. His next hearing is set for December 4.