German police have detained the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont under a European arrest warrant as he crossed from Denmark into Germany.

Puigdemont, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Brussels since October 2017, was travelling in a car on the way from Finland to Belgium on Sunday, when he was detained, having visited Finnish lawmakers in Helsinki.

On Friday the Spanish government reactivated an international arrest warrant for Puigdemont, who is wanted on charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds. Catalonia's ex-leader slipped out of Finland on Friday before authorities could arrest him.

According to German media reports, the arrest was made following a tipoff from Spain’s intelligence agency to German federal police’s Sirene bureau – part of a network of information-sharing units for national police in the Schengen area.

Puigdemont faces up to 25 years in prison in Spain on charges of rebellion and sedition for organising an illegal referendum for Catalonia that led to a unilateral declaration of independence in October 2017.

According to the rules of the European arrest warrant, Germany has up to 60 days to decide whether to extradite the Catalan politician to Spain.

German police have confirmed that Mr Puigdemont was detained by a highway patrol in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, which borders Denmark.

Tensions in Catalonia are very high and its separatist leaders abandoned plans to name a new president following the arrest of the latest candidate, Jordi Turull, on Friday.

Crowds of protesters had clashed with police in Barcelona on Friday night after Spain's Supreme Court ruled 25 Catalan leaders should be tried for rebellion, embezzlement or disobeying the state.

Mr Turull was among five people taken into custody in fresh arrests.