The Spanish government has boosted border patrols in a bid to prevent ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont returning to Spain. 

Spain’s interior minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, said that security forces had been beefed up on and near the Spanish border of Catalonia with France in case of a bid by Mr Puigdemont to sneak into the region and make his way to the regional parliament in Barcelona.

“We are going to ensure that he doesn’t enter [Spain] even in the boot of a car,”  Mr Zoido said, admitting that the government was “very worried” about Mr Puigdemont’s intentions after he was named as the sole candidate the region’s parliament will have to vote on next week.  

Mr Zoido said that Catalonia had plenty of remote areas in which Mr Puigdemont could attempt a clandestine return “by helicopter, microlight or boat”, prompting his department to position security forces both along the border and in the region’s interior.

In Catalan elections held on December, Mr Puigdemont’s electoral list combined with other pro-independence forces maintained a slender majority in the region’s parliament.

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