Graham Keeley, Madrid
May 15 2018, 12:01am, The Times
Germany’s intelligence chief accused Russia of seeking to destabilise Spain by backing separatists in Catalonia, as the region elected a new hardline president to lead its bid for independence.
Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the German domestic intelligence service, the BfV, said it was “very plausible” that Moscow had carried out a campaign of disinformation before the secession referendum in October to encourage voters to back splitting from Spain. Speaking at an intelligence conference in Berlin, Mr Maassen did not offer details but said that he had reliable information from other security services.
His comments came as Quim Torra, a separatist, became the Catalan president when MPs in the regional parliament approved the move by 66 votes to 65.
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