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Spain On High Alert To Prevent Puigdemont From Sneaking Back “In The Boot Of A Car”

Spain’s Interior Minister Jose Ignacio Zoido has a warning for  Carles Puigdemont: “don’t try to sneak back into Barcelona, you will be caught.”

The ousted former Catalan leader and infamous separatist, Carles Puigdemont who remains in self-imposed exile in Brussels and who was again picked by the Catalan parliament to be its president, may be tempted to cross into Spain “by helicopter, light aircraft or boat” so that the regional parliament can reappoint him officially, Zoido told broadcaster Antena 3 in an interview. The police have deployed specialist teams to monitor his movements and will catch him if he tries.

“Justice will be done with Carles Puigdemont”, Zoido told Antena 3 on Tuesday morning, adding that the former First Minister had “fled” from the courts. “He has gone to countries where they’re not paying much attention to him but where he can make a lot of noise.”

As a reminder, “making a lot of noise” in Europe, especially when it goes against the establishment, is frowned upon.

Why the bizarre statement? Because, as Bloomberg notes, the Spanish media is abuzz with speculation that “Puigdemont might attempt a dramatic return for an investiture vote in the Catalan parliament this month. He fled to Brussels in October after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy fired him for engineering a declaration of independence from Spain and he faces arrest if he attempts to return.”

Asked about the possibility that Puigdemont might try to sneak back across the border to attempt another embarrassing media coup for the Spanish government, Zoido replied that Spanish security forces were vigilant and prepared, with Civil Guard and National Police experts working on the problem.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Eight Catalonia Ministers Jailed, Madrid Seeks European Arrest Warrant for Catalan Leader 

Spain, a country that supports a two-state solution in Palestine, detained eight Catalan ministers on trumped up charges of sedition. Prosecutors also seek an arrest warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.

We all knew it would come down to this: Sacked Catalonia Ministers Held by Madrid Court.

Eight sacked Catalan ministers have been remanded in custody by a Spanish high court judge over the region’s push for independence. Prosecutors had asked the judge to detain eight of the nine former regional government members who turned up for questioning in Madrid.

They are accused of rebellion, sedition, and misuse of public funds. Prosecutors are also seeking a European Arrest Warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.

The request also covers four other dismissed Catalan ministers who did not show up in court in Madrid as requested, but have been in Belgium since Monday.

Detained

  • Former Deputy Vice President Oriol Junqueras
  • Former Interior Minister Joaquim Forn
  • Former Foreign Affairs Minister Raül Romeva
  • Former Justice Minister Carles Mundó
  • Former Labour Minister Dolors Bassa
  • Former Government Presidency Councillor Jordi Turull
  • Former Sustainable Development Minister Josep Rull
  • Former Culture Minister Meritxell Borras

In a statement broadcast on Catalan TV from an undisclosed location in Belgium, Mr. Puigdemont described the detention of the eight ex-ministers as “an act that breaks with the basic principles of democracy”.

What’s Next?

If Spain’s high court judge issues a warrant, a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) will be sent to Belgian prosecutors, who have 24 hours to decide whether the paperwork is correct. If they do, they then have 15 days to arrest Mr. Puigdemont and the four others. If one or all of them appeals against it, that process could last another 15 days.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Puigdemont Seeks Asylum In Belgium After Spain Files Charges Against Catalan Government For Rebellion

Puigdemont Seeks Asylum In Belgium After Spain Files Charges Against Catalan Government For Rebellion

Update: As we warned earlier, La Sexta has just reported that (former) Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont will seek asylum in Belgium.

According to eldiario.es, Puigdemont has made the decision to travel to Brussels advised by a legal team that recommends him to remain in that country.

The movement of the former Catalan president intends to internationalize the judicial decisions and to force the Belgian justice to position itself on the possible emission of a euroorder of detention by Spain. In addition, the expresident and the exconsellers that accompany him raise the possibility of requesting political asylum in that country.

*  *  *

As we detailed earlier, Spain’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Jose Manuel Maza, made a short statement this morning as he filed a suit against former Catalonian leader, Carles Puigdemont and his colleagues, accusing them of “rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds”. In total, charges have been made against 20 people, 14 of them former members of the Catalan and six of them members of the Speaker’s Committee in the Catalan Parliament (which facilitated the declaration of independence).

Below is the front page of the document which details the charges, courtesy of the twitter account of The Spain Report.

And here is the first page of the accusation that has gone to the Supreme Cou

The Spain Report published a summary of the court against members of Speaker’s Committee. Same three crimes. pic.twitter.com/rzeR4sALpu

View image on Twitter

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Catalan Leader Urges “Peaceful” Rebellion As Spain Takes Over Government

Catalan Leader Urges “Peaceful” Rebellion As Spain Takes Over Government

Update (0920ET): A Spanish government spokesman has responded to Puigdemont’s address, saying that “Spain will not comment on comments by Puigdemont who is out of a job.”

*  *  *

As we detailed earlier, in a pre-record message this morning, Catalan separtist leader Carles Puigdemont urged Catalans to peacefully oppose Spain’s formal takeover of the region’s affairs.

Puigdemont said the activation of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution was illegitimate and called on Catalans to show “patience, perseverance” and faith in the future, and urged “democratic opposition” against Spanish government orders to sack his administration and dismiss the regional parliament.

As The Spain Report notes, he announced he Catalans must “continue defending” their new republic “with a sense of civic responsibility,” adding “our will is to continue working to guarantee our democratic mandate”.

The use of Article 155 to suspend home rule in Catalonia was a “premeditated attack on the majority will of Catalans” and “contrary” to democracy.

Puigdemont also called on pro-independence Catalans to be respectful of fellow Catalans who are in favor of Catalonia remaining within Spain. Puigdemont didn’t mention central government orders to remove him.

Presumably, Puigdemont’s calls suggest a strategy designed to compare Madrid’s forcefulness to Catalan’s peaceful protest, perhaps in an effort to garner more international favor – as most of the ‘developed’ nations issued statements overnight declining to reecognize Catalonia and fully backing the establishment’s Spanish government.

Live broadcasts showed Puigdemont in a bar in the town of Girona at the time of the televised speech.

Puigdemont declined to speak to reporters when he left the bar shortly after the speech.

Meanwhile, Spain begins implementation of Article 155:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Catalan Chaos Continues As Secessionists Prepare Independence Motion

Catalan Chaos Continues As Secessionists Prepare Independence Motion

After yesterday’s chaotic Spanish event rollercoaster, when the Catalan leader Carles Puidgement was going to press ahead with independence only to change his mind, and propose elections, before reversing again and punting the independence decision to parliament, we hoped to get some further clarity on how he’s planning to proceed. Today, the chaos continues.

First, Bloomberg reported that Catalonia would seek approval for elections from Madrid:

The rebel government of Catalonia is making a last ditch effort to win concessions from Madrid. According to a person familiar with the matter, Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, wants to convince supporters to accept regional elections instead of a declaration of independence. A senior Catalan official will ask the Spanish government to suspend the process of seizing direct control of the region if there is a snap election.

However, shortly afterwards, The Spain Report carried breaking news that the secessionists would debate a motion to declare independence in today’s session of the Catalonian Parliament.


MAJOR BREAKING: Separatist Parties Register Motion To Declare Independence Of Catalonia In Regional Parliament https://www.thespainreport.com/articles/1244-171027111459-separatist-parties-register-motion-to-declare-independence-of-catalonia-in-regional-parliament 

Separatist Parties Register Motion To Declare Independence Of Catalonia In Regional Parliament

(Breaking story…more to follow)

thespainreport.com


More from the report:

Catalan separatist parties—Junts Pel Sí (“Together For Yes”) and the CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy)—have registered a motion to declare the independence of Catalonia in the regional parliament.

A copy of the document published by Spanish media included the phrase: “We constitute the Catalan Republic as an independent sovereign democratic, social state of law”.

The text would also approve the activation of the secession bill approved by the regional chamber at the beginning of September and voided by the Constitutional Court and “begin the constituent process”.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Spain Showdown: Catalan Parliament To Decide On Independence Tomorrow, Chaos To Follow

Spain Showdown: Catalan Parliament To Decide On Independence Tomorrow, Chaos To Follow

A dramatic rollercoaster of a day for Catalonia and Spain is ending ominously, with the Catalan president Puigdemont announcing that he would let the region’s parliament decide the fate of the Catalan declaration of independence from Spain, capping off a day of furious reversals. The announcement follows a dramatic reversal from the Catalan leader who until just a few hours ago, was expected to announce that he’d call an early election in the region to avoid Spain’s takeover of the Catalan government. In the last moment he decided against it, saying there were no guarantees from the Spanish government it would be implemented while facing rebellion from his separatist allies at home; as a result he has washed his hands and decided to leave a decision on independence to his parliament.

Puigdemont made the announcement before a scheduled appearance before the Catalan Parliament on Thursday evening. According to the NYT, he said he made the decision after he had failed to secure a commitment from the central government that it would not take control of the region if he called early elections.

“There are none of the guarantees that justify convening elections today,” Mr. Puigdemont said during a brief televised address from his government headquarters. “I tried to obtain the guarantees,” he added, but “I didn’t get a responsible answer from the Spanish government, which has instead used this option to add to the tension.”

He added: “It is now for Parliament to decide its answer to the application” of Article 155 of the national Constitution.

While the Catalan Parliament – where separatists parties have a small but critical majority – may meet later Thursday, it will be the vote on a declaration of independence on Friday that will be most closely watched; meanwhile, the Spanish Senate is expected to approve emergency measures to impose Madrid’s direct rule on Catalonia.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Catalan Government Said To Back Off Independence Push, Will Seek Elections; Spanish Stocks Soar, Yields Tumble

Catalan Government Said To Back Off Independence Push, Will Seek Elections; Spanish Stocks Soar, Yields Tumble

Yesterday Catalonia’s government was preparing to declare independence, as we discussed. Just hours after Puigdemont snubbed Madrid, canceling his visit to The Senate to discuss their imposition of Article 155, Catalan Deputy First Minister Oriol Junqueras told AP that the Spanish government had left Catalonia “no other option” but to proclaim a new republic. Mr. Junqueras told the AP he was commenting as leader of his party, Republican Catalan Left, not as a member of the regional government. Additionally, Puigdemont posted a defiant Instagram message: “We will not lose time with those who have already decided to crush Catalan self-government. Onwards!”

However, just a few hours later, the Catalonia leadership seems to have backed down, and instead is opting for elections, reportedly just before Christmas.

According to Bloomberg, Catalan President Carlos Puigdemont may call regional elections this week, rather than declaring independence from Spain, as authorities in Madrid finalize plans to oust his rebel administration, according to two people familiar with his thinking.

After defying the Spanish courts for weeks, Puigdemont decision could either ease tensions or deepen the biggest constitutional crisis in western Europe’s fifth-largest country since an attempted coup in 1981. Spain’s chief prosecutor has warned he faces up to 30 years in jail if he goes ahead with the declaration.

“The scenario of independence is one that we cannot allow and which will not happen,” Economy Minister Luis de Guindos told Spanish radio on Thursday. He said there was already a “significant slowdown” in economic activity in the region. “They’re caught in a mousetrap. It seems their own decisions are producing vertigo.”

Bloomberg’s also reports that this could take place on 20 December 2017.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Catalan Separatists Warn “The Moment Has Come” As Puigdemont Suddenly Cancels Parliament Appearance

Catalan Separatists Warn “The Moment Has Come” As Puigdemont Suddenly Cancels Parliament Appearance

In a sudden, and perhaps ominous, last minute change, the First Minister of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, will now not travel to Madridon Thursday evening to appear before the Senate, and has brought forward the Catalan Parliament plenary session to vote on a response to Madrid’s application of Article 155.

Just hours after a PP spokesman confirmed that elections are no longer enough to stop Article 155 process to suspend home rule in Catalonia, El Pais reports, Catalan president Carles Puigdemont won’t appear before the Senate Thursday, citing unidentified people in PDeCAT party in the Congress.

The Catalan Parliament plenary session is now to start Thursday, and will vote response to application of article 155 of the Spanish constitution.

Bloomberg also reports that Catalan Separatists tell supporters that “the moment has come,” to “defend the republic.”

Spain Won’t Arrest Separatist Leaders, Blames “Fake News” For Catalan Crisis 

Spain Won’t Arrest Separatist Leaders, Blames “Fake News” For Catalan Crisis 

Following Catalan President Puigdemont’s address yesterday accusing Madrid of “the worst attack since Franco,” the Spanish government has urged Catalonians to accept direct control from Madrid and ignore seditious instructions from the pro-independence leaders.

Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis responded on Sunday with the call to obey Madrid.

“We are going to establish the authorities who are going to rule the day-to-day affairs of Catalonia according to the Catalan laws and norms … I hope everyone will disregard whatever instructions they will be planning to give because they will not have the legal authority to do that.

“All the government is trying to do, and reluctantly, is to reinstate the legal order, to restore the constitution but also the Catalan rules and proceed from there,” Dastis told BBC TV.

“We are not going to arrest anyone.”

Of course, Dastis could not help himself but fall back on the establishment’s ‘excuse du jour’ for anything that does not fit with the maintenance of the status quo… “There has been a lot of alternative facts and fake news”

Below are details of the powers the Spanish government plans to assume for a maximum six months before regional elections are held as set out in a proposal to the upper house Senate. As Reuters reports, the measures were formulated under a constitutional provision never before invoked in Spain’s 40 years of democracy.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

450,000 Take To Barcelona’s Streets, Led By Catalan Separatist President, Chanting “Time To Declare Independence”

450,000 Take To Barcelona’s Streets, Led By Catalan Separatist President, Chanting “Time To Declare Independence”

With Spain officially pulling the trigger on Article 155, and activating the Spanish Constitutional “nuclear option” this morning, when PM Rajoy said he would seize control of the Catalan government, fire everyone and force new elections in six months, attention has shifted to the Catalan response. And as we waited for the official statement by Catalan separatist president Carles Puigdemont, expected at 9pm local time, we found him taking to the streets, where he led hundreds of thousands of independence supporters in protest around Barcelona on Saturday, shouting “freedom” and “independence” following the stunning news from Madrid earlier on Saturday.

According to municipal police, over 450,000 people rallied on Barcelona’s expansive Paseo de Gracia boulevard, spilling over on to nearby streets, many holding Catalonia’s yellow, red and blue Estelada separatist flag.

Catalan regional vice-president Oriol Junqueras and Catalan regional president
Carles Puigdemont attend a demonstration on October 21, 2017 in Barcelona

Protesters greeted Puigdemont’s arrival at the rally with shouts of
“President, President.” The rest of his executive was also there.

For at least some locals, the time to split from Spain has come: “It’s time to declare independence,” said Jordi Balta, a 28-year-old stationery shop employee quoted by AFP, adding there was no longer any room for dialogue.

Others disgree: “The Catalans are completely disconnected from Spanish institutions, and particularly anything to do with the Spanish state,” said Ramon Millol, a 45-year-old mechanic.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Spain Activates “Nuclear Option”: Will Seize Control Of Catalan Government, Force New Elections

Spain Activates “Nuclear Option”: Will Seize Control Of Catalan Government, Force New Elections

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy asked lawmakers to grant him unprecedented powers to force leaders of the Catalonia region to cease their independence push, a dramatic escalation in the confrontation between Spain and the separatist region, which the WSJ – and virtually everyone else – has said will be a major test for Spanish democracy.  According to The Spain Report, this is the first time in the modern democratic period that a central government has suspended home rule in one of Spain’s 17 regions.


Spain’s PM Mariano Rajoy unveils plans to curb powers of Catalan government http://bbc.in/2zCVTRr 


Rajoy announced that his central government would use Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to remove the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, and sack the entire Catalan regional government as part of a barrage of actions, and force new elections on the region within six months. Summoning the sweeping powers of Article 155, Rajoy said Saturday, was a last resort.

Puigdemont and his regional administration will be removed from office once the Spanish Senate approves the government’s plan as soon as this week and Spanish government ministers will take over the management of the Catalan administration, Rajoy said according to Bloomberg. The responsibilities of the Catalan government will be administered in the interim period by central government ministries. Furthermore, the Catalan Parliament will not be allowed to present a new candidate for First Minister, to prevent Puigdemont from being reappointed.

Rajoy said “This is not a suspension of home rule but the dismissal of those who lead the regional government”. The Spanish Senate will be in charge of controlling the process. As a result, Rajoy said Spain’s central government would temporarily control Catalonia’s regional ministries until new elections are called. The prime minister said he is seeking to convene regional elections within six months.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Uncharted Territory, Spain to Take Over Catalonia Government: What’s the Libertarian Position? 

Madrid will suspend Catalonia autonomy on Saturday after Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan president, refused to back down from a declaration of independence. What happens next is unknown. Spain fears violence but it may force new regional elections nonetheless. This is uncharted territory.

The Spanish government is to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy and impose direct rule after the region’s president refused to abandon the push for independence that has led to Spain’s biggest political crisis for 40 years.The announcement of the unprecedented measure came after the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, threatened a unilateral declaration of independence if the Spanish government did not agree to talks on the issue.According to article 155, which has never been used, the Spanish government will need to lodge a formal complaint with Puigdemont, then submit its proposals to the senate for debate and approval. As a result, it will be at least a few days before concrete steps are taken.Tensions in the already fraught impasse rose further this week after a judge at Spain’s national court denied bail to two prominent Catalan independence leaders who are being investigated for alleged sedition.

Spain Moves to Suspend Autonomy

Spain is to start suspending Catalonia’s autonomy from Saturday, as the region’s leader threatens to declare independence. The government said ministers would meet to activate Article 155 of the constitution, allowing it to take over running of the region.Catalonia’s leader said the region’s parliament would vote on independence if Spain continued “repression”.Some fear the latest moves could spark further unrest after mass demonstrations before and since the ballot on 1 October. However, the central government wants to minimise the risk of large-scale demonstrations, our correspondent says.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Catalan Leader Vows To Declare Independence If Spain Triggers “Nuclear Option”

Catalan Leader Vows To Declare Independence If Spain Triggers “Nuclear Option”

The Spanish government crackdown on Catalan separatists has intensified this week, with a judge jailing two of the movements leaders and the country’s constitutional court officially declaring the region’s Oct. 1 referendum to be illegal. However, after confusing the Spanish government with his independence (non) declaration, regional leader Carles Puigdemont is refusing to back down ahead of tomorrow’s second, and final, Spanish ultimatum.

According to Reuters, Puigdemont told a meeting of his party on Wednesday he would formally declare independence Thursday morning if Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy follows through with his threat to invoke the so-called “nuclear option” of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, and suspend Catalonia’s regional autonomy – a decision that would likely lead to the arrest of Puigdemont and his government, followed by another violent crackdown on separatists.

Madrid has set a second and final deadline of 10 am local time Thursday for the Catalonian government to recant and officially revoke its symbolic declaration of independence, which Puigdemont suspended last week while hoping to negotiate with the Spanish government, Reuters reported.

Puigdemont has urged the European Union to mediate between Barcelona and Madrid, but EU member states have so far been reluctant to intervene, while Madrid has refused to even engage in any diplomatic contact.  In what some interpreted as an attempt to stall until international concern intensified, Puigdemont delivered a confusing speech in which he neglected to clearly explain his government’s planned course of action, and also refused to clarify whether his government had in fact declared independence, a strategy he employed again on Monday when Barcelona blew through Madrid’s original deadline for withdrawing its independence bid.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

With Just Hours Until Spain’s Ultimatum Runs Out, Catalonia Proposes Its Own Central Bank

With Just Hours Until Spain’s Ultimatum Runs Out, Catalonia Proposes Its Own Central Bank

It’s D-Day for Catalan President Carles Puigdemont who has just a few hours left until 10 am on Monday (4am ET) to respond to the Spanish government’s ultimatum delivered last week by the prime minister, demanding to know whether Puigdemont did, indeed, declare independence last week. If Puigdemont says yes, fails to respond, or provides another meandering answer, Rajoy will start the process under Article 155 to seize control of the breakaway administration in the coming weeks.

While Catalan television station TV3, which is controlled by the regional government, said Puigdemont will not give Rajoy a clear ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ according to Bloomberg, shortly after Jordi Sanchez, leader of separatist group Catalan National Assembly, denied the report and said that, after speaking to Puigdemont on Sunday, the Catalan reply to Rajoy “will be clear.” Speaking to Spanish broadcaster La Sexta, Sanchez said he agrees 100% with Puigdemont’s reply to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and that the response will be dignified and clear with no surprises, adding that a will for dialogue exists but the Catalan government will not renounce mandate given by the Oct. 1 independence referendum.

Meanwhile, El Mundo reported that Spain’s central government in Madrid is weighing two options it may impose on Catalonia if the region’s government unequivocally declares independence, El Mundo reported, without saying where it got the information. Madrid would either name a caretaker administration or a unity government made up of representatives of all parties, the newspaper said per Bloomberg. Regional elections would then be called in three to six months, according to the report. It adds that while Replacing the rebel government would require the state using special powers under Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. that action is not imminent, and may not be taken if the Catalan government demonstrates it hasn’t broken away from Spain and instead will abide by Spanish law.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Spanish Civil War, revisited

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont signs a declaration of independence at the Catalan regional parliament in Barcelona, on October 10, 2017. Photo: Reuters/Albert Gea

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont signs a declaration of independence at the Catalan regional parliament in Barcelona, on October Photo: Reuters/Albert Gea

The Spanish Civil War, revisited

Puigdemont’s political twist could invoke a lethal response from Madrid: suspension of Catalonia’s government

Call it theatre of the absurd – with a lethal subtext. Under pressure from all corners – even Donald Tusk, president of the EU Council – in his fateful date with destiny Carles Puigdemont, President of Catalonia, came up with some last-minute judo dialectics. He issued a non-denial denial Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Spain. What was declared was immediately suspended; the Republic of Catalonia lasted for six seconds.

The deft political gambit left Madrid predictably bewildered. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, a.k.a. nano-Franco, issued an ultimatum; you have five days to say if you declared independence or not.

It’s way more complex than it seems. The Catalan extreme left, up to the last minute, was trying to convince Puigdemont to proclaim unconditional independence. At the same time, those six seconds left Catalan unionists predictably furious. Moderates for their part prefer to see a faint light at the end of the tunnel.

The problem is that even with discreet back channels in place, Madrid’s strategy is to ultimately force a fissure in the independentist coalition; secession inside Catalonia to prevent secession from Spain.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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