The Spanish Constitutional Court has endorsed the doctrine of the state's Supreme Court asserting that, despite the decisions of European justice, it is legally valid to maintain the arrest warrants within Spain for exiled Catalan politicians Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín. If it were not tragic due to the enormous suffering that this unfair situation inflicts, the astronomical distance between European justice and Spanish injustice would even be comic: Spain's judiciary disconnecting from the decisions of European justice; Puigdemont and Comín being able to travel to Perpinyà and spend part of their holidays a few kilometres from their homes, which are in Girona and Barcelona respectively; and France's gendarmerie activating a security operation, discreet but efficient, so that nothing untoward occurs on French soil. And one has to ask, at least, how it is possible for the Spanish Constitutional Court to turn its back on the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union even if it uses legal subterfuge, which is what it has ended up doing.
But it is obvious that at all the highest levels of the Spanish judiciary a preference has been expressed for accepting the shame of being shown up as a state that does not respect European resolutions and fundamental rights, rather than rectifying and putting an end to the persecution of the Catalan independence movement, the general case against the movement started in 2012 and the doctrine that presents Puigdemont as public enemy number one.
And just in case there were any doubts about the attitude and the absence of any will to correct the course, on the eve of Catalonia's National Day, the judge of Barcelona's court number 13 has announced the definitive completion of the investigation against some thirty high-ranking Catalan government officials for the organization of the 1st October referendum and has decided to send them to trial. Among them, the leaders of the Catalan public broadcasting corporation (CCMA) and senior members of the Catalan ministerial departments at the time. Although the crimes they are accused of are varied, none of them are minor: misuse of public funds, forgery of documents, disobedience, disclosure of secrets and malfeasance.
This must be a way for the Spanish judiciary to signal a reminder that Pedro Sánchez can do whatever he likes with the so-called dialogue table and the agreement to de-judicialize the political conflict, but the judiciary themselves have their own agenda and are not - at all - interested in alternative ideas. It is always said that political agendas are set by governments. This has not been the case in Spain for a long time and both the political and judicial agenda are set by the judges, a collective which, in addition, is agitated to the maximum. With the reappointment of its supreme body, the General Council of the Judiciary, long overdue, and strong contention between the conservative sector and the very conservative sector. Someone must have asked what day would be best for an announcement to make it clear that they are still present, and seeing there are not many days like September 11th, the decision to leave their two calling cards this Thursday, that of the Constitutional Court's decision, and the ruling of Barcelona court 13, was perhaps intended to be helpful.
Those two lines that seemed completely forgotten get truer all the time: "Spain is different" and "Europe begins at the Pyrenees".