There are so many instances of how, on the one hand, European courts are judging Catalan pro-independence leaders and, on the other, how Spanish justice is doing it, that one can only understand the obfuscation of the latter in terms of an atavistic superiority, not based on defending legality but on the way the Kingdom of Spain has always resolved conflicts. The latest goal scored by the MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí has come from the hand of the General Court of the European Union (EGC), which has temporarily paralyzed the suspension of their parliamentary immunity so that once again they have full freedom of movement... except in Spain, where they would be arrested if they set foot in it and the police found out.
With this decision, the Luxembourg court has responded to the appeal lodged by the three Catalan MEPs and thus nullifies the resolution of the European Parliament last March, granting the immunity waiver requested by the Spanish Supreme Court. It is worth recalling that the vote in the European Parliament gave a relatively close result of only 400 votes in favour out of the almost 700 MEPs who took part, and all this after strong pressure from Spanish diplomacy. Also this Wednesday, a few hours before the decision of the EGC was known, Spain's Constitutional Court had endorsed the ruling of the Supreme Court on the president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, and the-then leader of the Catalan National Assembly and now secretary-general of Junts, Jordi Sànchez, which opens their access to European justice.
It is normal that the independence movement feels relieved when its cause crosses the La Jonquera border. Because what end up being judicial steamrollings on this side of the Pyrenees are, in other EU countries, unappealable victories in general. It is true that the return of the parliamentary immunity of Puigdemont, Comín and Ponsatí by the General Court of the EU is provisional, as the court has not gone into the substance of the matter. These are interim measures until the final decision. But it is also true that this is the first time anything like this has happened in response to a lifting of immunity by the European Parliament. And that means the Luxembourg court has seen a solid case in the arguments that were presented.
It is no small matter, as the submission to the court requesting the restoration of the lost immunity is based on a series of arguments that have one single message: that they are suffering political persecution by the Spanish state. Having an interim ruling go in their favour is thus a victory that is very far from the expected script of what would happen in Luxembourg. In fact, it almost constitutes half a victory on the substantive resolution, and has now put the spotlight on a case that was not at all straightforward.
But let us return to the differences between European justice and Spanish justice, which are, as can so often be seen, like night and day. Only when all nine files of the pro-independence prisoners arrive in Europe will it be possible to see a glimmer of hope in the face of such a long injustice of imprisonment.