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.
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.
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.
Spain’s High Court rejected appeal to free ministers of self-proclaimed Catalan Republic, jailed in aftermath of Madrid invoking Article 155 of the Constitution against the decision of Catalan Parliament to declare independence based on the results of the referendum #1Oct.
Spain’s high court has ordered eight former ministers from Catalonia’s dissolved government to be detained without bail, while the state prosecutor sought a Europe-wide arrest warrant for oust leader Carles Puigdemont. The measure argued by the opponents of Madrid, claiming that the elected President can not be fired, but only impeached.
The High court, known as the the Audiencia Nacional, summoned Puigdemont and the former ministers over their contentious independence aspiration, but only nine of them turned up at the session and without Puigdemont, who stayed in Brussels with the rest of government in exile. The judge ordered eight be remanded in custody, while the ninth was granted bail of 50,000 euros ($58,000).
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.
Amid Catalan crisis and arrests of the politicians of the self-proclaimed Catalan Republic, the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker is heading to Spain to receive a Honoris Causa Doctorate by the University of Salamanca and deliver a keynote speech on November, 8.
The announcement made has been framed in total silence of the EU executive body over Catalan crisis, an unusual stance for an organisation issuing daily statements in support of human rights and democracy in third countries, but also severe with the EU member-states if their policies do not convene the EU agenda.
The President of self-proclaimed Catalan Republic Carles Puigdemont finds safety in Brussels, he has not yet applied for asylum in Belgium – the move will become a fatal blow to the entire #EU activities on democracy and Human Rights internally and in third world. Political refugee from one EU member state to another will become a prescedent to inflate the EU status worldwide.
The judge has ordered eight members of the Catalan government to be remanded in custody pending possible charges over declaration of independence, threatening territorial integrity of Kingdom of Spain.
The judge Carmen Lamela, sitting in Spain’s national court, jailed all eight former ministers – including vice-president Oriol Junqueras – while they have been investigated on possible charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds. Lamela ruled that a ninth official, who resigned the day before independence vote last Friday, could remain at liberty on bail of €50,000.
Lawyers for those under investigation said their clients would appeal against the judge’s decision, which they described as unjustified, disproportionate and predetermined.