Tag Archives: Madrid

MEP: Catalan trials reminiscent of comrade Stalin ‘justice’

The Calalan trials in Madrid are reminiscent of ‘Vishinky justice’  of comrade Stalin style dealing with his political opponents“, said Indrek Tarand, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Estonia, while commenting on the accusations of the Catalan politicians. MEP is definite about the status of all the Catalans accused at High Court in Madrid as ‘prisoners of conscious“, and he also sees the sinister parallels between Spain’s political system oppressive methods and the extinct USSR.

“In democracy, debating and talking about everything is normal and logical. In democracy, voting is not a crime. We have made it very clear” said the former speaker of the Catalan parliament, Carme Forcadell to the judges in Spain’s Supreme Court in Madrid.

Spain’s public prosecutor has requested prison 17 years of sentence for her. Forcadell, is the first of among  accused of rebellion Catalan politicians  to take her case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg.

Her lawyers have already presented her appeal to ECHR arguing  the gross disproportion of her pre-trial detention. Forcadell has been under this restriction since 23rd March 2018.

Before the arrest Forcadell used to be the president of the Catalan parliament when lawmakers passed referendum laws and voted on the declaration of independence, perceived as a “rebellion” by Madrid.

In her testimonyForcadell underlined that it was not within her competences to assess the “constitutionality” of parliamentary proposals, and said that “censorship can’t be allowed in parliament.” Former speaker Forcadell denied that the declaration of independence actually passed, as it was included in the preamble of a resolution and was therefore just a “political statement.

The first phase of the Catalan independence trial is completed, after 12 politicians and activists charged for calling a referendum and declaring independence in 2017 gave their testimony.

The accused, including former members of the Catalan government, defended themselves against accusations such as violent rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds, and disobedience.

 

 

Spain warns no-deal “catastrophe”

Leaving the European Union without a deal, or so called ‘hard’ Brexit would be catastrophic, Spain Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said, while confirming that there were contingency plans in place.

Britain’s exit from the bloc on March 29 is uncertain as Westminster is highly likely to vote against a proposed by Theresa May cabinet deal, opening up a way to a disorderly retreat to.

A hard Brexit would be a catastrophe for everyone,”  Borrell, Socialist politician and former President of the European Parliament said during a conference in Madrid.

Catalonia protests amid Sanchez visit

Catalan politicians sentenced over organising independence referendum called on for peaceful protests ahead of a first visit of the Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Prime Minister  has planned to chair the weekly meeting in the Catalan capital Barcelona on December 21 in a gesture towards the conflict resolution with the northeastern region where Catalan pro-independence movement rejects the authority of Madrid central government. The claims for independence has not been dropped since the results of the referendum 2017 October 1, declared illegal by Spain’s Constitutional Court, about 90% of Catalan voters backed independence with turnout of 43%.

The leaders of Catalan government and the speaker of the Parliament were arrested, and jailed shorty after the declaration of independence charged with ‘rebellion‘, a non existent crime in the other EU democracies.

21/12/2018 AMENDMENT:

Catalan News channel reports the mobilization of protesters from early morning hours.

The Socialist (PSOE) Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that he would be holding the meeting of his government in the Catalan capital Barcelona, after having done the same in Andalusia, in a bid to bring the central government closer to the people of Spain. These intentions have been interpreted otherwise by the supporters of the Catalonia independence,  and groups such as the self-styled Committee for the Defense of the Republic (CDR) have called for mass protests.

Belgium Ambassador summoned in Madrid

The Belgian ambassador to Madrid, Marc Calcoen, has been summoned because Jan Peumans, the president of the Flemish Parliament, reportedly insulted Spain in a letter to Carme Forcadell, the former president of the Catalan Parliament currently in office. detention, reports De Tijd. The information has been confirmed at the Belga agency by the FPS Foreign Affairs.

Jan Peumans personally handed the message to Mrs Forcadell while he was going to visit her in prison with MEP Mark Demesmaeker (N-VA). Its content was broadcast on September 7 on the Twitter account of Mr. Demesmaeker.

This official letter, written by the president of a regional parliament “which has a prominent place in the Belgian protocol order”, is considered an insult by Spain, explained the ambassador.

The Spanish authorities are asking Foreign Affairs to contact Mr Peumans and to inform him that the content of his letter is unacceptable. On September 18, Madrid had already told Jan Peumans not to be pleased with his remarks, considered “a gesture frankly hostile”.

H.E. Calcoen informed Brussels that the incident was another step in “a long list of irritations” in bilateral relations between the two countries. The openly “unflattering” tone used by the Sanchez government against Belgium meant to “raise some fears“, he said. He was also surprised that the letter itself has not yet made the headlines of the Spanish press.

Quim Torra elected Catalan President

Catalonian parliament has elected pro-independence politician Quim Torra as president, ending months of Barcelona political stalemate with Madrid.

A close ally of the independence leader Carles Puigdemont, Torra, 55, won the ballot by a simple majority with the backing of 66 members of the parliament, and four abstentions. However 65 legislators voted against his candidacy.

Torra has promised to draft a constitution for a future Catalan Republic and restore regional laws that were suspended by Spanish courts in the wake of Catalonia’s October 1, 2017, independence referendum in which about two million Catalans voted to secede from Spain.

SOLE: Catalans expect EU institutions to stand for their rights

Jordi SOLE MEP reflects upon new arrests of Catalan politicians and activists, deepening crisis between Madrid and Barcelona. He warns against danger of banalising terrorism, while Madrid attempting to compare peaceful political activism to terrorist activities. Use of obsolete terms as “rebellion” and “sedation” is symptomatic to flaws of Spanish democracy, denying Catalans their fundamental rights.

However SOLE admits there are not sufficient voices in European Parliament to stand for defence of democracy in Spain, and respect of human rights of Catalans. EU-Catalonia platform created in EP, is promoting dialogue, and it needs more support of MEP to enhance political solution of the crisis. SOLE regrets EP president Antonio Tajani aligned with Madrid even in wording of his position, while completely ignoring legitimate demands of Catalans.”We deplore this one-sided attitude”, SOLE said. Repeated denial of dialogue and negotiations by Madrid, is a denial of democracy, and democratic right of Catalans to choose their future.

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.

 

 

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