For the third time, a European Arrest Warrant issued by judge Pablo Llarena of the Spanish Supreme Court has come to nought. The decision of a Belgian judge to suspend the extradition process against Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and minister Toni Comín due to their parliamentary immunity as MEPs leaves the magistrate totally disrobed and reinforces the idea that European justice is dismantling all the tall tales that have been constructed via the Spanish courts and their media choruses. The traditional Three Kings gift has arrived a little early for judge Llarena, who, like the children that haven't behaved themselves this year, has received a large bag of coal to teach him that in Europe cheating is not well received and that the most intelligent thing he could do would be to withdraw the national and international arrest warrants.
The notable annoyance of the Spanish right with Belgium and, by extension, with Europe, has done nothing but feed the old ghosts of an isolated, directionless Spain that sees external enemies in every corner. That this news also coincided with the final step in ERC's decision to vote in favour of Pedro Sánchez's investiture as new prime minister - the overwhelming approval from the National Council leaves no doubt as to what the party's wish is - did nothing but raise the indignation level of Spain's deep state by several decibels, as it continues to search for means to try and destabilize the adequate parliamentary majority that at present guarantees Pedro Sánchez's designation as prime minister on the second ballot.
The first match ball will be played this Friday at the Central Electoral Commission, which will study Oriol Junqueras' immunity and president Torra's disqualification from holding public office. We'll find out who has control over the commission and whether its members, who lean heavily to the right, will pull up the drawbridge or instead be sensitive to Sánchez's investiture in a few days.
And if that time-bomb doesn't go off, the pressure will be placed on the intergovernmental dialogue table agreed by PSOE and ERC and whose accords, according to the document agreed on publicly this Thursday, will end up being put to a popular vote. A proposal that has detractors outside the parties involved in the investiture: from the right, to JxCat and the CUP. The pragmatism of ERC should come as no surprise, as its political line has not changed for many months, and with this programme it has been the most voted party in Catalonia in the last two Spanish elections. However, we'll have to wait and see what the electoral commission decides. The next political conflict could be right here.