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More Spanish repression

by IdiotSavant Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 10:59:24 PM EST

Back in December, the European Court of Justice ruled that jailed Catalan politician Oriol Junqueras was a Member of the European Parliament and therefore had immunity from prosecution. In a democratic state under the rule of law, he would have been immediately released from prison (and compensated for his illegal detention), as his "conviction" occurred after his election. Instead, Spain continued to detain him. And now, Spain's Central Electoral Commission has declared that he is no longer an MEP, on the basis of that purported conviction.

But it doesn't stop there. The Central Electoral Commission has also purported to unseat Catalan President Quim Torra, using anti-terrorist law, and in explicit violation of Catalonia's statute of autonomy (which places that power solely in the hands of the Catalan Parliament). The Catalan Parliament isn't going to accept this, and is going to assert its rights, which will set it up for another direct collision with the Spanish judiciary.

In both cases, the message is clear: elected Catalans will not be allowed to advocate for independence, no matter what the law says. Hopefully, higher levels of the Spanish judiciary will correct these decisions. If not, the European courts will. But its just another example of Spanish repression, and another reminder that if Catalans want to be free of it, they need to be free of Spain.

(And meanwhile, Spain's parliament is debating a new government, on which the abstention of the Catalan Republican Left is vital. They've extracted promises of direct government-to-government negotiations on independence, with a public vote in Catalonia on the outcome, and they've made it clear that they will pull the plug and topple the government if those promises aren't kept. But with repression continuing, and political prisoners still in jail, its an awful risk for the ERC, and they may be punished by their voters for it).

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

If the Socialists want to form a government and remain in power, they are going to have to reach an accommodation with the ERC, and that means freeing political prisoners and allowing elected MEPs take their seats. The ERC would be committing political suicide if it settled for anything less.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 7th, 2020 at 01:51:13 AM EST
Basicly. The ERC are taking a gamble on negotiations in the hope that that will get their people free (it is I guess another track besides the inevitable appeal to European courts). The electoral commission decision is being seen as a move by the Spanish deep state to stick a spanner in the works and prevent that.

The investiture vote is today, and the majority is so tight that a single defector could kill it. And some of the socialist elite is against dealing with Catalonia as well, so it may all collapse. In which case I think there's a few more months for negotiations before they have to go to new elections.

by IdiotSavant on Tue Jan 7th, 2020 at 05:33:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pedro Sánchez wins vote to form new Spanish government
Spain's Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez has won a parliamentary investiture vote, allowing him to form the country's first-ever coalition government of the modern era and opening the way to negotiations aimed at solving the Catalonia crisis.

Mr Sánchez's candidacy secured a simple majority on Tuesday, receiving 167 votes in favour and 165 against, with 18 abstentions.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 7th, 2020 at 03:35:53 PM EST
Sanchez now needs continued ERC abstemtion, at a minimum, to progess any substantial legislation -- or his budget. I think this creates an ideal situation to actually make some progress on the Catalan issues.

Mostly because both sides now have a powerful incentive to advance within a constitutional framework. The previous crisis arose because the Rajoy governments refused all discussion, provoking the Catalans into illegality.

The question of the MEPs will settle itself eventually. If they are freed by EU courts, it will be a powerful teaching moment. For the other prisoners, it's more complicated. Interfering with the judiciary is more than Sanchez's job is worth, likewise any amnesty. Even if there is no election in immediate prospect, feelings run very high within the electorate (see the rise of the extreme right).

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jan 8th, 2020 at 11:59:51 AM EST
Spain refuses immunity for Catalan separatist MEP Junqueras - DW
Spain's Supreme Court on Thursday said that Oriol Junqueras should not be released from prison, denying him immunity as a a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).

A legal request had been filed for Junqueras to take up his seat at the parliament, in line with a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Judges in Luxembourg in December said the politician should be entitled to immunity as a member of the parliament. It said he should have been allowed to travel to a Spanish swearing-in ceremony at the parliament after he was elected an MEP last May.

However, the Madrid court refused to recognize Junqueras as an MEP because the delibration stage of his trial had already begun when he was officially recognized as an MEP elect.

"There are no grounds to grant his freedom," the court wrote in its ruling. It said the ECJ-recognized travel privileges were "not a protective shield against the sentence."

by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Jan 9th, 2020 at 06:49:25 PM EST
Looks like its a confrontation with the ECJ and European parliament then.
by IdiotSavant on Thu Jan 9th, 2020 at 09:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Statement by President Sassoli on the composition of the European Parliament
Statement by the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli

"Following the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union in case C-502/19, Junqueras Vies, of 19 December 2019, the mandates of Mr Junqueras i Vies, Mr Puigdemont i Casamajó and Mr Comín i Oliveres started on 2 July 2019 on the basis of the official declaration of the results of the elections by the competent Spanish authorities.

"However, taking into account the decision of the Junta Electoral Central of 3 January 2020 and pursuant to the decision of the Tribunal Supremo of 9 January 2020, the mandate of Mr Junqueras i Vies terminated with effect on 3 January 2020.

"It follows from the case-law of the Court of Justice that the European Parliament is obliged to take note without delay of the final decisions of the competent judicial authorities of the Member States.

"Therefore, I will announce in plenary on Monday 13 January 2020 the start of mandate of the three Members on 2 July 2019 and the termination of the mandate of Mr Junqueras i Vies on 3 January 2020. I will ask the competent Spanish authorities to quickly notify to Parliament the name of the new Member."

by Bernard (bernard) on Fri Jan 10th, 2020 at 09:39:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As expected, this has gone straight back to court:

Oriol Junqueras appeals to the EU's General Court to recover his MEP seat.

by IdiotSavant on Mon Jan 20th, 2020 at 12:51:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile, Brexit reapportionment has meant that exiled Catalan politician Carla Ponsetti has become an MEP. And the Spanish courts have declared her seat vacant, ignoring the ECJ ruling.
by IdiotSavant on Fri Jan 31st, 2020 at 05:54:15 AM EST

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