Lead image by Toshiko Sakurai

Extradition Request Violates Schengen

It's amusing how mainstream media has heaped tons of praise on Mariano Rajoy's handling of the Catalonia independence vote. His handling has been totally inept and it is about to bring down the Belgium government.

The issue in play is the Schengen agreement that governs political asylum. Without a doubt, the Catalan leaders in exile cannot get a fair trial in Spain.

Eurointelligence notes there is a limited list of crimes to which the European Arrest Warrant applies but none of the three crimes Puigdemont is indicted for - rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds - are on that list.

Politically, this is a nightmare for the Belgian government, a complicated four-party coalition under the liberal Charles Michel, who is now in an open clash with the radical Flemish party N-VA. Its leader Bart de Wever confirmed his support for Puigdemont yesterday, saying that he is a welcome friend who should not be let down. This comes shortly after the prime minister insisted that Puigdemont came without a political invitation, but as an individual using the rights granted under Schengen.

No Chance of Fair Trial

Eurointelligence is strongly against independence, yet accurately concludes Catalans Cannot Get a Fair Trial.

"It is clear that dismissed Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont is in Brussels to seek a headline that says: Belgian courts rule that Spain does not guarantee a fair trial. And, after yesterday's events in Spain's National Court, he's almost guaranteed to get it. This is the stuff of nightmares for the Spanish government, which so far enjoys the unwavering support of its European partners; and for the Belgian Prime Minister, who is tottering on the brink of a government crisis as it is."

Catalan Separatism Energised Again

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

From Eurointelligence

The political consequences of the imprisonment of the entire dismissed Catalan cabinet - save for the five members of it that are in Brussels - will be severe. Yesterday there were spontaneous demonstrations in Catalonia, and pot-banging has returned. There are calls for a general strike next week. And the odds that there will be a single non-partisan "civic" list encompassing all separatist parties, and members of the grass-roots, have risen considerably. In the current mood, this could possibly also include members of the fence-sitting Catalan ally of Podemos, and even members of the Catalan socialists.

Before yesterday, there were reports that Mariano Rajoy was hoping to regain the support of the Basque Nationalist Party PNV for his 2018 budget. The PP would hope to improve its result in the regional elections, potentially entering into a coalition with other unionist parties. According to the noted parliamentary correspondent Fernando Garea, the government did not count on a deal with the PNV until after the Catalan election, but a budget deal in January would be a precondition for Rajoy being able to serve a full term. Otherwise, early elections beckon. The implication must be that now early elections are on the horizon.

Catalonia Tweets

Rajoy Will Not Survive

As I said in the beginning, Rajoy will not survive his inept handling of the independence vote. In fact he fueled it. Suppression of basic rights will not work, no matter how much the EU buries its head.

A few days ago Eurointelligence mocked Puigdemont's speech in Brussels as a "circus". The real circus act is by Rajoy, the Madrid courts, and the EU.

Libertarian Position

If you mistakenly believe Spain is in the right, please read Uncharted Territory, Spain to Take Over Catalonia Government: What's the Libertarian Position?

No real Libertarian can support Madrid.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Spain Gives Catalonia a 5-Day Warning: What Really Happened Yesterday? Majority Math Fake News

There's a lot of confusion over yesterday's announcement by Catalan president Carles Puigdemont. Did Puigdemont declare independence or not? Many are confused, especially in Madrid. Prime minister Mariano Rajoy gave Catalonia 5 days to clarify.

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.

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.

Support for SPD Dives: Coalition Doubts Mount

Support for SPD, in coalition talks with CDU/CSU to form a German government, is now at a record low. Doubts mount.

New Elections in Catalonia Coming: By Force or Peacefully?

In a letter to prime minister Mariano Rajoy, Catalan president Carles Puigdemont asks Spain to end “repression of the Catalan people”. Puigdemont still did not say whether or not Catalonia declared independence. Meanwhile, a prosecutor seeks to hold Catalan police chief in prison with no bail.

Catalonia Parliament Votes 70-10 for Independence: Best Wishes to Catalonia, the Nation

Friday morning, the Catalan parliament voted 70-10 to declare independence from Spain. In return, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy demands direct rule. How will Rajoy accomplish that?

Catalonia Independence Parties in Lead for December 21 Election

Spain dissolved the Catalan Parliament following its declaration of independence. Separatists have lead latest polls.

Catalonia Coup D'etat: Major Test of Tyranny, Expect Tyranny to Win

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy invoked article 155 and will seize control of the Catalan government. Major news media hypocrites that supported violent insurrections in Ukraine, Egypt and other places, will not back a peaceful move towards self-determination in Catalonia.

Catalonia Suffers 'Worst Attacks' Since Franco Dictatorship: Peaceful Resistance Coming Up

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont delivered a scathing response to Mariano Rajoy’s article 155 declaration. He accused Rajoy of the worst tactics since Franco. Even the Mayor of Barcelona, who does not want independence points a finger at Rajoy. Puigdemont pledges peaceful resistance.