Tag Archives: Catalan Republic

EU prefers to ignore political justice in Spain

A German court in Neumünster in Schleswig-Holstein will formally decide upon Carles Puigdemont’s identity on Monday (26.03.2018) afternoon after the Catalan independence leader was detained by police, while entering Germany on the way from Finland to Belgium, where he lives in an exile. The operation was reported as a ‘success’ of German and Spanish intelligence service cooperation.

The Court hearing will be a first legal step considering a possible extradition to the Kingdom of Spain.

On Friday last week, Madrid reactivated a European arrest warrant  for Puigdemont for the crime of rebelion, which denotes rebellion against the state. The former President of self-proclaimed Catalan Republic faces up to 30 years in prison on the sedition charges, interpreting a referendum as a crime against Spanish Crown.

The European Commission as a guardian of the Treaties, and a guarantor of Fundamental Rights, declines to see the faults of Spanish Justice, exercising political judiciary.

 

Madrid opposes Puigdemont free speech in Denmark

The Spanish Prosecutor’s Office has asked the Supreme Court to issue another European arrest warrant against the President of self-proclaimed Catalan Republic Carles Puigdemont, in case he travels to Denmark for a conference on January 22.

The Catalan President’s lawyer has stated that there is a “fairly high” risk for President to be arrested during his trip to Denmark, should the Spanish Supreme Court’s judge re-issue the European arrest warrant, in case Puigdemont decided to leave from his exile in Belgium.

Although Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas acknowledged that “there are political, diplomatic, judicial, and police movements at a Spanish level,” he highlighted that they “were not entirely clear.” He believes that the warrant could be issued in time for the visit, but he also said that it is possible Denmark might reject the warrant, even though the crime of rebellion is included in its criminal code.

Denmark is well-known for its profound attachment to democratic values put to ordeal in case of Mohammed cartoon scandal. According to various political experts the risks of being deported to Madrid from Copenhagen are minimal, however it is clear that President Puigdemont can not afford any in view of Spanish hostility towards Catalan politicians.

The Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena has ruled the vice-President of Catalonia, Oriol Junqueras, must remain physically in prison without permission to attend sessions of the new Catalan Parliament. The decision also applies to two other politicians Joaquim Forn, and Jordi Sánchez, both re-elected on December 21, 2017.

 

 

Puigdemont asks Rajoy if he assumes outcome of elections

The President of the self-proclaimed Catalan Republic in exile after the Spanish government evoked an Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, said during the presentation of the candidacy Together for Catalonia (Junts per Catalunya) that the Catalan people “will ratify” that they want independence in the upcoming elections.

President Puigdemont underlined that the political parties backing the enforcement of Article 155 and the Spain’s takeover of Catalan self-government “must be defeated” in the upcoming elections. Catalan President addressed question to the Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, if he accepts the results of the December 21 elections and assumes “consequences”.

Spain’s Court cancelled Catalan’s unilateral Declaration of independence

Spain’s Constitutional Court officially annulled the Catalan parliament’s  unilateral declaration of independence, a widely expected ruling after the move was suspended by the court.

The Madrid government fired Catalonia’s president Carles Puigdemont and dismissed its parliament hours after the region declared itself independent with 70 votes for, 10 votes against and after lawmakers from three national parties walked out of the vote.

The invoking of Article 155 of the Constitution of Kingdom of Spain was deplored by human rights defenders as misuse of law to suppress the freedom of expression.

However the President of the self-proclaimed Catalan Republic Carles Puigdemont, functioning from Brussels exile, underlines the democratic process of the Declaration, based on history, culture and aspiration of Catalans to build public life upon their traditions, identity and vision. The current Catalan government in exile has broad public support – 200 Mayors (pictured) came to Brussels to demand the EU to act, and liberate Catalan prisoners of conscience in Spain, and also mediate in negotiations over independence with Madrid.

Puigdemont: “Democracy in danger in EU”

The congregation of 200 Catalan Mayors at prestigious BOZAR concert hall in Brussels, gave unanimous support to the only ‘legitimate’ President Carles Puigdemont, and his government, partially in exile in Belgium, and partially in prison in Spain. Mayors demanded immediate liberation of the 10 political prisoners, and EU mediation in negotiations with Spain over independence settlement.

Among the speakers Mayors of small villages and cities were expressing concern about the silence of the EU, and incapacity to defend their fundamental rights. Also the atmosphere of fear, caused by Madrid’s offensive over what Mayors called was the fulfillment of the election promise to the electorate to organise referendum on independence.

Each Mayor made an accent on the democratic process of Catalan independence movement, insisting it is a mature decision of people, a result of a long history, culture, achievements, and needs for public life, society organization based on Catalan unique identity. He also insisted there should be an agreement before the upcoming snap election to respect its outcome.

Concluding the event the President of self-proclaimed Catalan Republic Carles Puigdemont gave a programme speech, analysing the situation, and calling the EU leaders to listen to the will of people, protecting fundamental rights of the Catalan people.

Puigdemont called for immediate liberation of all political prisoners in Spain, pointing that the precedent of jailing politicians over fulfilment of the election programme they were voted for brings the democracy in danger not only in Catalonia, but in entire EU. He pointed that it is “anomaly” in Europe to have a territory with suppressed democratic institutions.

From congregation Puigdemont addressed president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, demanding to defend the fundamental rights of Catalans, reminding him that they are also European citizens.

Belgium receives arrest warrant for Puigdemont

Spain has issued an international arrest warrant for the President of the self-proclaimed Catalan Republic in exile a day after the same judge jailed eight members of the region’s government pending possible charges over Declaration of independence.

In the latest twist in Spain’s worst political crisis in four decades, a national court judge on issued a European arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont in response to a request from state prosecutors.

Puigdemont  escaped the fate of his team in Brussel with a handful of his ministers after Spanish authorities fired him and his cabinet from office, activating article 155 of the Constitution of Spain, and imposing a direct rule over Catalonia.

The move of Mariano Rajoy government cause a lot of criticism from the legal experts, who argued that a principle of ‘territorial integrity’ can be used for outside forces, but not against the population, expressing will though plebiscite. The criminalisation of referendum undermines the basis of democracy standing  for freedom of thought.

Junqueras vows to defend Catalan independence

Catalonia’s political leaders will appear before High court in Madrid facing charges of rebellion, sedition, and misuse of public funds, while the region’s president Carles Puigdemont denounced the processes as “political revenge” from his Brussels exile.

A group of political leaders (15) due to testify from 9 a.m. (0800 GMT) are Puigdemont’s former vice-president Oriol Junqueras, eight other members of his sacked cabinet and six senior regional lawmakers, including the speaker of the Catalan parliament, Carme Forcadell.

Puigdemont and his former team were summoned by the High Court while the speaker of the Catalan Parliament Carme Forcadell and the other lawmakers were summoned by the Supreme Court.

Today in Catalonia there is a clear dissociation between the democratic will of citizens and the central government, which has set out to take over the people’s institutions and control them despotically” – Junqueras underlined ahead of the trial.

Puigdemont in Brussels in search for diplomatic solution

Today President of self-proclaimed Catalan Republic Carles Puigdemont visits Brussels for a number of high-profile meeting in Belgium government and with the EU diplomats. Although the visit is not advertised, there is an understanding that the EU institutions and Belgium government face a pressure from Madrid, and the situation is delicate and fragile, so the visit is conducted with a discretion.

On contrary to what many outlets wrote, President Puigdemont is not searching for an asylum, or an opportunity to stay in Belgium, but to launch a meaningful dialogue with Madrid via the joint efforts with the EU and Belgium diplomacy.

There is a little faith among the EU diplomats that Madrid and Barcelona can resolve the argument without the assistance of international mediators. There are also fears of consequences of a protracted argument for Eurozone, and negative impact on the economy of Kingdom of Spain.

There is a lot of sympathy for Catalan aspiration of freedom in Brussels corridors of power – the factor of public opinion impossible to ignore, and there are very few of those in favor of Madrid’s forceful scenarios within prosecutor’s rhetoric. At the moment there is a lot of expectation from the diplomatic efforts to find a balanced solution for the crisis without a lot of image and financial losses for either of the involved sides, including the EU.

 

 

Spain unionists export violence to Barcelona

Concluding the day of a massive anti-independence rally in Barcelona, numerous incidents of violence against journalists, police, transport workers, and damages to public buildings were reported by the victims, witnesses, and social media. Till present 11 reported wounded.

The 300,000-strong march in Barcelona included also far-right groups decorated by Spanish flags, and fascist symbols, who directed their aggression against declaration of Catalan Republic splashed over different groups from media and police, to inhabitants and pedestrians.

A journalist from the Catalan digital newspaper El Nacional was attacked on by an aggressive unionist.  A group of journalists from the Catalan TV public broadcaster were also intimidated, while a van from the same TV station was damaged.

The incidents have been reported since Friday a far-right group of demonstrators for the unity of Spain intimidated employees of the Catalan radio public broadcaster and Barcelona local TV station. The outraged opponents of declaration of Catalan Republic smashed windows of Catalan radio, and damaged main doors, until Catalan police officers had set a police cordon to protect the premises.

The far-right protesters from the rally also attacked Catalan police. The incident took place in Plaça Sant Jaume, outside the Catalan government headquarters, the attackers were insulting the officers and throwing objects: ‘Long live Franco!’, ‘Long live Spain!’ and ‘Franco would fix you!’

So far the EU institutions failed to address the issue of Spanish violence in Catalonia, giving their unconditional support to Prime minister Mariano Rajoy, to what he calls the “restoration of legality” in self-proclaimed Catalan Republic.

The UN experts have already presented their opinion on events in Catalonia, explaining that the ‘territorial integrity’ principle can not be used for suppression of human rights, and right to self-determination of people. ‘Territorial integrity’ is a fundamental principle preventing external forces, but not an excuse to deny people their basic right to determine their future.

 

 

Birth of Catalan Republic

The Declaration of Catalan Republic took place after the debate in the parliament in Barcelona, and a subsequent vote: with 70 yes, 10 no, and 2 blanc ballots.

Spanish lawmakers intend to adopt extraordinary measures to seize control of a big part of Catalonia’s autonomous powers in an attempt to end the region’s bid for independence. In anticipation of application of Article 155, stripping it from its powers, Catalans declared independence as they explained previously in an open letter to Spanish government.

 

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