A LEADING pro-Catalan independence politician has warned against setting “impossible conditions” which would allow a right-wing government into power in Spain’s forthcoming general election.

As one of those currently on trial in Madrid for their part in the 2017 indyref, Oriol Junqueras, leader of the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and the party’s lead candidate in the Spanish and European elections, has been banned from taking part in campaign activities either outside or inside the prison where he is incarcerated.

However, where there’s a will, there’s a way and the high-profile Junqueras, who has been in prison for 18 months, told the online newspaper NacioDigital in a written interview that he did not support the policy that led to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s budget being blocked in the Spanish parliament and triggered the snap election. Sanchez and his Socialists (PSOE) needed support from pro-indy MPs to oust his predecessor Mariano Rajoy, but also to allow legislation to be passed in his first parliament.

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However, his refusal to even discuss Catalan self-determination saw him fall at the first hurdle when they withdrew their backing.

“We do not support the blocking [policy] … or the impossible conditions that will end up installing a government of the right,” said Junqueras.

“We are the ones that make things happen and those that will make Catalonia decide its future through self-determination.”

Many are worried about the rise of the far-right Vox party – which became king-maker in Andalusia after winning its first seats in December – and fear a further rise in support for its populist, nationalist policies.

However, Junqueras hoped the independence lobby would show its strength in the April 28 election: “We have the opportunity to make independentism win the Spanish elections in Catalonia for the first time and this message would be very powerful.

The National: Oriol Junqueras, front-row, rightOriol Junqueras, front-row, right

“No-one should make the mistake of setting red lines that end up turning into a blank cheque to facilitate a government of the extreme right-wing tripartite. And … nobody can give blank cheques to the PSOE that act as red lines for a true democracy in Catalonia.”

Junqueras went on to dismiss a call from Podemos (We Can) for a multiple choice ballot on Catalonia’s future: “We have always advocated that the best tool to resolve the conflict between Catalonia and the state is a referendum with a clear question and a binary answer

“Everyone knows, including Podemos and the PSOE, that the future of Catalonia will be resolved by voting, everyone knows that the referendum is inevitable.”