This Monday saw two news stories with different results in president Puigdemont and minister Comín's tussle with the Spanish state, in this case, via the European Court of Justice, located in Luxembourg: mid-morning, we learnt that it had admitted the submission from their lawyers asking the court for provisional measures so that they could access their status as MEPs during the opening of the European Parliament this Tuesday in Strasbourg. This story, exceptionally good because the court tends to admit very few filings from individuals, lost strength last thing in the afternoon when the same court rejected the provisional measures. However, the court left open two paths for litigation. An appeal to overturn its decision limited to legal questions with apparently nonexistent possibilities and, secondly, a written announcement that it will issue a definitive verdict on the heart of the matter and that a ruling on provisional measures in no way prejudices the result of the main action. In other words, the game continues.
It's been a frenetic Monday of headlines which changed from hour to hour and came from four fronts: Madrid, Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg. In the capital of Spain, the Spanish government tried by all means possible to tighten its legal resources and its diplomacy to reduce Puigdemont and Comín's room for manoeuvre in their filing for provisional measures. In Brussels, Pedro Sánchez was negotiating with EU leaders for the main roles which have to be nominated on the new Commission. Obviously, Sánchez must have found time to talk with French president, Emmanuel Macron, to discuss the different options if the president in exile were to travel to Strasbourg. Just kilometres away, in Waterloo, Puigdemont was dedicating the morning to outline his strategy with regards to whether he should travel to the seat of the European Parliament or not.
Also in the morning, the first reports arrived from the French city, via certain officials, of a Spanish police presence in unusual numbers. Was it related to Puigdemont's visit? Was there a police operation underway? Could it be possible even without activating the European Arrest Warrant? Had it been activated with no official announcement? Was it so ridiculous to think that the old agreements between Spain and France to carry out arrests on the fly in French territory designed for the terrorist group ETA could be dusted off for Puigdemont and Comín? There are not, obviously, official sources to reveal these operations, but what's certain is that those close to Puigdemont take this version as certain in light of the information they've received.
The Luxembourg game remains wide open, whatever anyone might say. A warning: careful with first headlines and preemptive euphoria. That already happened when Germany arrested Puigdemont: weeks later, a court in Schleswig-Holstein released him and three months later it dismissed extraditing him for rebellion. We'll see from now on how it all shapes up.