SPAIN: Madrid Arrests Eight Top Catalan Officials For Sedition, Issues Warrants For President And Others

The BBC reports:

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 government members who turned up for questioning in Madrid. They are accused of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.

The state prosecutor has requested 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.

Mr Puigdemont is currently thought to be in Belgium, and has said he will not return to Spain unless he and four of his fellow sacked colleagues received guarantees of a fair trial. He did not specify the exact demands. Belgium’s federal prosecutor has said the law will be applied once an arrest warrant is received, according to Efe news agency.

  • EDinMCO

    Putin is laughing his ass off.

  • blackstar

    OT: Kislayak met with officials at Kennesaw State University (which runs Georgia’s election system) in April 2016. (Source: KSU Magazine)

    https://twitter.com/jennycohn1/status/926134836707737601

    • Treant

      I would say we have no choice but to assume that the server wipe was a malicious act to evade punishment for election cheating.

      Lock. Them. All. Up.

      • FBI supposedly has backups.

        • Treant

          It was still a malicious intention. They don’t get off because the FBI had foresight. 🙂

        • JCF

          I predict Keebler has an “accident” w/ those.

    • Halou

      Isn’t that the state election system that was purged in defiance of a court order? Hmm…

    • justmeeeee

      I know one of the statisticians at Kennesaw…all I can say is…deep, deep shit.

  • Mikey

    This is going to end well.
    /s

  • Treant

    Well…what else can they do? Most arguments for secession have all the quality of the arguments for the South to secede for the Civil War. The post-actual-war ones that argue about different economies and different social qualities, that is, not the actual slavery reasons posted at the time.

    • coram nobis

      I’m not aware that Catalonia, or for that matter Scotland or Ulster or Croatia, have slavery. These regions may have had something different in terms of tourist or petroleum sectors, say, but that’s not the same.

      What they can do is try to divert or make gestures toward a distinct identity without making the secessionists’ own case. Italy just accommodated a vote in Veneto and Lombardy for more autonomy, and Quebec has had its own identity, and things have proceeded without this kind of central-government brutality.

      • Treant

        Negative precedent. States can’t simply secede today just because they feel like it, and for that reason. Additionally, terms of separation would have to be worked out–or imposed–including their share of the Federal debt.

        Catalonia isn’t making any gestures in that direction hence, negative precedent.

        • coram nobis

          Well, yes, although Catalonia has grievances, however misty, going back through 1939 and 1712 to at least the 15th Century. The lesson we take from Croatia is that it may take armed force before a state even begins the process.

          In any event, I was commenting on the matter of slavery, which was a unique dynamic. Indeed, it wasn’t just a controversy limited to the South, since the Fugitive Slave Act, and Dred Scott, seemed to point to a future in which no state or territory might have been able to avoid it.

          • Treant

            The south similarly has “grievances.” I wouldn’t accept that excuse.

            Although, in the real world, if the South wanted to leave, I’d wave and send flowers. But you know what I mean.

          • coram nobis

            The South also got victory handed to them in 1877, so instead of a confederacy they had Jim Crow. Something similar happened in South Africa with the 1902 peace treaty. Neither case was like after Franco’s victory, where he went after anybody who had fought on the losing side.

    • JCF

      Oh, I don’t know: negotiate? Seek nonviolent solutions? Take a nice long walk, breathe, and think about things (instead of the knee-jerk/itchy-trigger-finger reaction)?

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d81cea04fdd128bda6d6dbb85bde86a9f74085ae4c338e1ca44a3c472b61bab5.jpg

      • Treant

        And watch their money making states meander off into the sunset.

        Nope, won’t happen, and I can’t say I blame them. We’d do the same if California tried to ex-patriate. And nonviolence is usually invoked by the people against the government, which can be damaged economically simply by not showing up to work. It’s not effective in a state versus state conflict.

  • coram nobis
    • AlternativeQuacks

      This is what I’m most mad at Puigdemont and Junqueras about. This little rightwing fringe had been blissfully asleep for 40 years and they had to go and wake it up. And for what? In Spain, like in the U.S., I sometimes suspect that far left and the far right are really secretly in cahoots.

      • JCF

        “mad at Puigdemont and Junqueras about. This little rightwing fringe had been blissfully asleep for 40 years and they had to go and wake it up”

        Blame the Victim logic much???

        • coram nobis

          Yes, and my parallel was to the 1930s, in which the last Catalonian effort was crushed from the center. The latest crackdown raised some unpleasant memories, certainly when the Guardia Civil came storming in. (For everyone else, “Cara el Sol” was, is, the Falangist party anthem).

        • AlternativeQuacks

          No, not really. The falangist party (it exists, along with a couple of other far right parties) has never gotten more than a fraction of a percent of the vote in Spain ever since the transition, and they could never gather more than a handful of misfits for their events. Spain has fortunately been up until now just about the only major (or mid-sized) country in Europe that did not have anything like the Front National or Vlaams Blok or FPÖ or AfD, in spite of having suffered several terrorist attacks, including one of the worst in the Atocha train bombings. I’m hopeful that will continue to be the case.

          But much of what went on over the past month in Catalonia has been a kind of bizarre performance art by a handful of radical far left mini-parties and orgs (CUP, ANC, Omnium, the Anti-Capitalists, etc.) with the complicity of the ERC and the negligence of the PDeCat, who should have known better than to get in bed with these. This wasn’t realistically designed to accomplish anything except to provoke, since even the ERC’s own internal documents (which have been revealed) showed that they had no idea what they were doing and no serious economic plan or any other plan for that matter. On the PDeCat’s part it was naivete and wishful thinking, maybe. But on the part of the CUP & co., there is more than a little bit of maliciousness there. They’re basically anarchists who are against “the man” and “the system” and want to burn the house down just because. Much of the PDeCat even tried desperately to have Puigdemont call new elections at the end to avoid all this, but at the last minute he shut down his own party and let the most radical parties in his coalition drive the agenda. They want this, because in their minds, “the worse it is, the better.”

          • Ron Robertson

            You describe very well the nihilist mentality around the world. I would include in that my fellow liberals that are OK with trump winning to force radical change in the democrats. Despite history proving that never works, and that you don’t ever get anything built if you are constantly tearing it down, they remain stolid in their beliefs, and now we have trump doing his fucking best to destroy the world.

  • Halou

    What did the 9th former minister say/do to avoid being remanded?

  • Publius

    I am 101% in favor of Spanish unity and against Catalan independence. I have been generally supportive of the government’s approach, even when it was heavy handed. But I think people should really take pause any time a government is imprisoning people on account of a political battle.

    Political imprisonment is not 21st century liberal democratic behavior. There are plenty of ways the government can make an example out of Catalonia’s ex-government, but this shouldn’t be one of them.

    • Robert K Wright

      Why? Just curious. I lived in both Barcelona and in Madrid for some time in the 90’s and there was a push then for Independence in the Barcelona region, and then you have the call for independence by the Basque population up in the San Sebastián area. The regions are very very different and the Catalan region is tired of being the money bags for the rest of the country. I’m not heavily swayed either way, but this issue has been percolating since at least King Ferdinand. Was just curious as to your reasoning.

      • Publius

        For two reasons, principally. First, the constitution is clear about the indissolubility of the state. If Catalonia wants to be independent, then it should have to build the political consensus necessary, and amend the constitution legally, in a way that would permit independence. The way Catalonia went about this vote was inappropriate and undemocratic. Second, I don’t think cultural differences, and in this case more specifically, ethnic difference, represent appropriate grounds for separation. Nationalism shouldn’t be entertained.

        • coram nobis

          You’ve made some good points, but it’s worth noting that if the Catalan vote was flawed, it would have been well to take them to court, if Spain has a central constitutional court, and show it as procedurally illegitimate, as play-acting, in the same sense that the Free State of Jefferson, in California, never went beyond being a curiosity. The police crackdown, and the arrests, are overreaction.

          • Publius

            Just to clarify, the courts did actually invalidate the Catalonian parliament’s legislation which enabled the vote, in effect preemptively voiding the vote itself. The response to the vote has been legislative, primarily.

          • coram nobis

            If they had left it at that, it might have worked out and the separatists left with futile flag-waving. The arrests, and especially the brutish Guardia Civil intervention, will make things far more difficult now.

          • Robert K Wright

            Primarily legislative? Well, the police force used against them right before, during, and after the vote was hardly legislative in nature. I read your response above and agree with your points. But let’s be completely forthcoming in the conversation. Police force was used against those attempting to vote. Now, I know you said “primarily” but to neglect to mention physical Police Force is to diminish the importance.

          • Publius

            Primarily legislative, as in opposed to primarily judicial. There was a judicial response to the vote before it occurred, and a legislative response afterward. I was merely attempting to be concise in differentiating the types of responses. Not meaning to sound reductive whatsoever.

    • AlternativeQuacks

      I agree that, if this had been the government’s doing (i.e., the currently ruling coalition of PP and C’s), this would probably be a strategic error. By all reports, up until this morning, everything was running perfectly normally in Catalonia (under the Article 155 intervention) and nobody was paying any attention to the deposed government. If the goal was to keep this quiet, this will be counter-productive.

      However, what often gets ignored in foreign reporting is that the judiciary is a completely separate and independent branch of the Spanish government, just like in the USA. The executive branch (i.e., Rajoy) cannot order it to do or not do anything. An awful lot of the reporting in the English language papers make it sound like Rajoy issued an injunction, or Rajoy filed charges, or Rajoy declared the referendum illegal, etc. This is just not true. A Catalan judge in a Catalan court, following the Constitution, declared the referendum illegal.

      • Publius

        Great points, especially on Spain’s judiciary. Like ours, Spain’s judiciary is notoriously independent (for obvious reasons, see: Franco). They even use universal jurisdiction. One judge even unilaterally investigated George W. Bush.

        https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-bush-six-to-be-indicted

    • canoebum

      Your point is especially significant given how outspoken Rajoy has been about political prisoners in Venezuela. He’s made a complete 180 on that one, from decrying political prisoners to taking his own.

  • Silver Badger

    Can we swap Catalonia for Texas?

    • m_lp_ql_m

      Can we swap the Catalan officials for Trump and his cronies?

    • Ben in Oakland

      How about for everything south of the mason Dixon line, and we’ll throw in Arizona for good measure.

      • Craig Howell

        No deal. Why give away MD/DC/VA?

        • Ben in Oakland

          All right. Keep MD and DC. But Virginia?

          • Craig Howell

            Check back next Wednesday, after they elect a new Governor.

          • Beagle

            Keep the part north of Fredericksburg.

  • JWC

    I agree wgat would Canasda be without Quebec or the US with out California or Texas All 3 Rowdy sister in a “Family” home Work out you difference internally long long before separation

    • Hue-Man

      It helps that Alberta only complains about paying too much federal taxes compared to federal expenditures when the high price of oil produces windfall profits (and taxes). Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and B.C. have all experienced good times and bad times, often offsetting each other.

      The other response to complaints about Atlantic Canada getting extra benefits from the Feds: “Then move there!”
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb7fb8d9444c1f05803934e68b48343fa44f99f108e088a6fb14a6975abbda88.jpg

      • Karl Dubhe

        My family was in Alberta before oil was found. We know that we used to be Canada’s money pit. It’s the newcomers and the greedy shits who complain about paying the taxes. 🙂

      • canoebum

        I wish I could move to Atlantic Canada. I’d happily take up residence in Halifax without giving it a second thought.

      • JWC

        there is always the bitch and the threat but Dorothy called it”There is no place like home”

  • justmeeeee

    This Puigdemont dude is not too good at saying what he means, is he?

  • andrew

    It seems like the people of Catalonia are pretty evenly divided on the issue of secession. On Sunday hundreds of thousands of supporters of a unified Spain filled Barcelona’s streets. With Catalonia almost evenly divided on such an emotional and significant issue, violence is certainly a strong possibility.

  • 1980Gardener

    Spain is reacting far too harshly. People should be given the free opportunity to choose their destiny – Spain should have allowed a free vote and then abided by the results.

  • Fernan

    It’s not “Madrid”, it’s a Judge. The pro-separatist bias in the coverage of this issue on this blog is disgusting. It’s never said here that 53% catalan voted for constitutionalist parties in the last elections in the Catalonian parlament. There has been a huge demonstration in Barcelona last sunday supporting unity under Spanish Constitution and Joe hasn’t published anything about it: https://youtu.be/IgCcvkgQyMs

    • leastyebejudged

      lol, keep lying, it’s amusing.

  • Kevin Andrews

    There can be no clearer demonstration of “All Politics are about Cash and the Rothschild’s Khazar Mafia control.” The most productive and revenue generating district in Spain demands autonomous government, the ability to control their own futures and everyday lives and the “State” (The Rothschild’s Meat-Puppets) deny human freedom in good Franco style.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c8c0e5a7592f6cc0fb2043a7654f4a4b0258b42e2f8ae03791a0079032d2a6a4.png

  • narutomania

    That is the wrong move, Rajoy. It is impossible to hold someone at gunpoint and order him/her to love / honour you.

  • leastyebejudged

    Take a look at the USA’s future.