More stable tides

More stable tides

I was tempted to write about the unfolding crisis engulfing Theresa May’s Government but the story is moving so fast that my article would almost certainly be swiftly overtaken by events.

Instead I will focus on Catalonia. The tide of events is a little more sedate there at the moment than in London but there have been a great many waves recently.

Quim Torra was inaugurated as the President of the Catalan Generalitat on 15 May after the Spanish State refused to allow Carles Puigdemont to take up the post, even though he had the backing of a majority of the elected representatives.

Puigdemont is, of course, still in exile in Germany where he is undergoing potential extradition proceedings to Spain under the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). These are unlikely to prove successful as the crimes he is being charged with have no direct equivalent in Germany with the charge of “Rebellion” already having been thrown out by the court. The only crime they are still contemplating trying to extradite him for is corruption but this would also seem unlikely in the circumstances. The Spanish State is continuing to act in a spiteful manner toward Puigdemont, with the Spanish Supreme Court today ruling that he was suspended as a Deputy of the Catalan Generalitat.

One of the major aims of the new President, Quim Torra has been to see the release of the other Catalan Political Prisoners and he has met with the new Spanish Prime Minister recently to press this point. The meeting in itself is an advance on the situation previously as former Prime Minister Rajoy had refused point blank to meet with the Catalan President.

Spain is still in a constitutional crisis. Catalonia’s Government still wishes to secede. Political prisoners are still held in custody and exiles are still being prosecuted under international arrest warrants. Progress is slow but the Catalan people are unwavering. Their National Day on 11 September should see millions of people take to the streets to proclaim their Republic. The Catalan crisis has already claimed one Spanish Prime Minister and the new one is, at least initially, giving the appearance of listening a little more. Time will tell how this plays out but if Spain are not careful, it will cost them their entire country.

Tides turn slowly and waves advance up the beach. As Burns said, “no man can tether time, nor tide” and the time and the tide are with the Catalan people.

1 Comment

  1. I utterly condemn the actions of the Spanish Government. They don’t have a legal or moral leg to stand on. There is no right to independence under international law, but what it absolutely guarantees is the right of all “peoples” (not governments or parliaments) to decide their political status “in full freedom”, as and when they wish, and with no external interference of any kind. That is one of the most fundamental principles of international law, deriving from Art.1 Par.2 of the United Nations Charter, which anchors the principle of “equal rights and self-determination of peoples.” The crime that the Rajoy government committed was not to prevent Catalan independence, but to prevent a fully legal democratic decision on the issue. The brutality used to this end has been aggravated by the persecution of democratically elected Catalan representatives with clear records. Spain has signed and ratified the relevant legal acts, which represent superior law and must be obeyed.

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