CATALONIA’s independence referendum in October last year and the subsequent declaration of independence have been documented in a new book by former president Carles Puigdemont.

The Catalan Crisis – an opportunity for Europe was released yesterday at a major book fair in Antwerp, Belgium.

Puigdemont has been in exile in the country since he fled Catalonia to avoid charges of rebellion and sedition for his role in the indyref.

In the book, he reiterates his belief that the crisis in Catalonia – which is awaiting the trials early next year of prominent pro-independence politicians and public figures – is one that should be addressed by the whole of Europe.

“The Catalan crisis is a European crisis and not just a Spanish one,” he said. “She puts the European Union to the test, she tests whether it is capable of putting the interests of the citizens above the interests of certain member states.”

Puigdemont was interviewed at length for the book by Belgian journalist Olivier Mouton, who writes for Le Vif-l’Express. It goes behind the scenes of the indyref and its consequences, trying to strike a balance between supporting Catalan independence and opening a dialogue door with Spain’s central government in Madrid.

Meanwhile, the cat-and-mouse exchanges between the two administrations has continued after Spain said it will oppose the opening by Catalonia of six new delegations abroad.

With the exception of the office in Brussels, they were all closed by Spain following the independence declaration.

Now the Catalan government plans to open new offices in Vienna, Tallinn, Zagreb, Lisbon, Stockholm and Beirut.

When they regained power in December’s election, pro-indy parties said they intended to reopen existing and new offices abroad. Those in London, Berlin and Rome are already operational.

Spain must asses such moves, but can only challenge them if their activities are deemed illegal.

Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell, said: “We already know they’ll ignore us ... they won’t pay us any attention.”

Confirming that sentiment, Ernest Maragall, his opposite number in Catalonia, responded: “This confirms the foreign ministry’s direct attack on Catalonia’s action abroad.

“They won’t stop us.”