Puigdemont asks European Parliament not to oppose European judiciary decision on his immunity

Former president warns pardons do not put an end to repression and calls for amnesty

2 min
Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí.

BrusselsThis Thursday, Junts MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí have celebrated the General Court of the European Union's (GCEU) decision to restore provisionally their parliamentary immunity while awaiting a ruling on the appeal the three filed against the European Parliament for having agreed to lift their immunity at the Spanish Supreme Court's behest. "We have climbed a step," said the former Catalan president, who explained that it is a "very important" step because it has "no precedent". The three MEPs from Junts consider that defending their rights as MEPs does not go against the European Parliament, but on the contrary, it "strengthens" it, and therefore they hope that it will not oppose the ruling.

The decision issued yesterday by the Vice-President of the General Court does not go into the case and makes it clear that the European Parliament has not yet presented its side of the case. According to sources in the chamber, they have two weeks to do so. However, pro-independence MEPs believe that their cause is in the defence of the European Parliament itself because protecting the rights of its members also protects the institution. Therefore, they believe that the European Parliament should not present allegations against the Luxembourg court's decision. "We are convinced that our insistence on defending our rights is a favour to the European Parliament," said Comín.

The most immediate consequence of the decision of the GCEU is that next week the three MEPs will be able to travel to Strasbourg, according to Ponsatí, who, even so, has ruled out that they will cross the Spanish border because "the threat of political persecution within the Spanish borders has not diminished". However, the Junts MEP has admitted that former president Puigdemont will not be as worried travelling around Europe.

"Spain needs to stop having political prisoners"

On the other hand, the former president has been very sceptical about the attitude of Pedro Sánchez's government regarding the possibility of pardoning political prisoners or reforming the crime of sedition. Puigdemont, Comín and Ponsatí have repeated that pardons are not a political solution and, in fact, they have insinuated that if the Spanish government wants to grant pardons it is not to end repression but because "it needs to stop having political prisoners". The former president of the Generalitat has insisted that the only political solution is amnesty and has assimilated the policies of Pedro Sánchez to those of Mariano Rajoy: "The vocabulary has changed, it is true, but not the facts," he said.

The reactivation of the negotiating table is also one of the moves planned after the investiture of Pere Aragonès as president of the Generalitat. When asked about the possibility of taking part, Puigdemont has closed the door: "It is not our responsibility to participate or not to participate in the dialogue table," said Puigdemont before the possible presence of former Vice President Oriol Junqueres. "It is a table between two governments, I do not oversee the Catalan government nor do I want a gesture on my part to be interpreted as oversight," reiterated the former president.