Catalonia wants out; Spain says no

Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 13 Feb, 2021 08:35 am
The Catalan nationalists are in crisis ahead of tomorrow's regional elections.

The unsuccessful fight for a separate republic has worn down the supporters. Only 44.5 percent of Catalans are currently in favour of a separate state. Many of them are frustrated because their leaders promised rapid independence for years - and then failed to deliver.

In the election, the separatists might just manage a majority despite the rise of the socialists. But what they would do with power they themselves do not know. The left-wing republicans are counting on negotiations with Madrid, the more radical camp around Puigdemont and Sànchez on confrontation.

Sunday's vote is therefore a landmark. The party that prevails on Sunday will want to determine the course of the next few years. At the heart of the matter is one question: do the separatists de-escalate the conflict with Madrid - or do they take another run at it?

Six key questions for the future of Catalonia that the February 14 election will answer

Election who’s who: parties, powerholders, and potential presidents

Only a fraction of Catalans living abroad will vote on February 14

Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2021 10:33 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Pro-independence parties retained a majority in the 135-member chamber on a day that saw a record low turnout of 53.55%. The anti-capitalist CUP won 6.68% of the vote, surging from 4 seats to 9, meaning a total of 74 MPs in favor of a Catalan republic, 4 more than in 2017.

The far-right Vox Party will enter Catalonia's regional parliament for the first time, winning 11 seats. The conservative People's Party is only expected to receive three seats.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2021 01:33 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Catalonia’s regional elections told two stories. The headline is the Socialists (PSC) won the most votes - a win for the Spanish Prime Minister. However, the pro-Independence parties secured over 50% of the vote and seats - up from 2017.

(Map by @mcimaps)

Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 9 Mar, 2021 07:18 am
@Walter Hinteler,
The European parliament has voted to lift the immunity of the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and two of his ministers, taking them a step closer to extradition and prosecution in Spain.

MEPs voted by 400 to 248 with 45 abstentions in the case of Puigdemont and 404 to 247 with 42 abstentions regarding Antoni Comín and Clara Ponsatí, respectively the former health and education ministers in Puigdemont’s government.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 9 Mar, 2021 11:51 am
@Walter Hinteler,
There are formal reasons why the Parliament decided to lift the immunity:the criminal proceedings began before the three were elected to the European Parliament and the charges were "clearly unrelated" to their activities as MEPs, the decisions say.
Puigdemont said on Tuesday that this was "a sad day" for the European Parliament: "This is a clear case of political persecution." His lawyers are considering appealing the decision to the European Court of Justice.

However, the trio per se has a good chance of not being extradited:
a Brussels appeals court ruled two months ago that Lluís Puig - another former member of the Catalan regional government - does not have to be extradited. Belgian prosecutors decided not to challenge the ruling, which means Spain's request is likely to be finally rejected. The judges argued that because of the heated atmosphere, the presumption of innocence was in danger.
So it is to be expected that this will also happen here.
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