The senseless persecution of Puigdemont

2 min
Puigdemont out of prison

The new judicial vaudeville of the judge Pablo Llarena against former president Carles Puigdemont has not even lasted twenty-four hours. Jailed upon arrival in Alghero on Thursday night, the Catalan leader in exile has left this Friday afternoon in freedom without precautionary measures, with the possibility, therefore, to return to circulate in Europe (except the Spanish state) without impediments. The persecutory anxiety of the judge of the Supreme Court with the pro-independence political leader has long since taken on a grotesque air. Every step he takes is a setback. It seems that Llarena, obsessed, does not at all appreciate the disrepute in which he is bringing the Spanish justice system into disrepute. Otherwise, he would stop firing procedural shots, most of which end in fiasco. This time he wanted to play cat and mouse with the European arrest warrant, which he should have withdrawn - but did not - in order to catch Puigdemont in the act. As a result, once again Llarena has seen, in this case at the hand of an Italian judge, how the Catalan MEP emerged triumphant from his fleeting passage through a night behind bars: "Spain never misses an opportunity to make a fool of itself", said Puigdemont once free.

Indeed, Spain has a problem with its high judiciary, which acts outside not only the decisions of the EU courts, but also, for example, in contradiction with the State Attorney's Office itself. The Spanish government, therefore, sees how time and time again the courts are trying to show it the way, to make it rectify its political policy of concord, based on pardons and the dialogue table, two limited steps - but not so long ago unthinkable. Because Llarena's judicial manoeuvre, beyond his personal crusade, has to be interpreted as an attempt to correct the executive of Pedro Sánchez, an attempt, of course, in perfect harmony with the right and the ultra-right of PP, Cs and Vox, very comfortable with the judicialisation of the Catalan independence bid and Spanish political life in general. What all of them would like to do is to make the political dialogue between the Catalan and Spanish governments on the sovereignty dispute run aground from the very beginning, a dialogue that is, on the other hand, very complicated and about which we should not have too many hopes. And in passing, of course, they intend to provoke the fall of the PSOE-Podemos coalition government.

The Spanish judicial counter-power does not rest. In the State, the balance of powers continues to waver and, therefore, continues to weaken democracy. This new failed attempt to get Puigdemont extradited is yet another example of serious and irresponsible interference in the necessary path of bringing the sovereignty conflict back to politics. With the prisoners pardoned, the next step should be to seek a solution for the political exiles, as well as to put an end to the repression of hundreds of citizens and public servants. Amnesty is essential if there is a real desire to move towards a dialogue-based solution. If there is no courage in this regard, if the justice system is allowed to continue to take the initiative and continue with its extreme persecution, it will be difficult to make progress towards a political solution.