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Renowned Italian legal scholar, Fabio Marcelli, has written an article in the newspaper Il fatto quotidiano, strongly attacking the attempts by the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, "to change majorities" with imprisoned or exiled politicians.

"The Spanish prime minister, Rajoy, has invented a new system to obtain the majority in representative assemblies which come across as too stubborn to accept the state's teaching. It's a simple and effective method and consists of arresting or sending into exile a number of deputies of the opposing parties, enough to make them fall to below 50 percent. The brilliant politician in question is applying his method in Catalonia", he writes, with a hint of sarcasm.

According to Marcelli, parliamentary democracy is being "distorted" and that, in Spain, there is a "hyperactivity of a judiciary which still hears the call of Francoism". He complains that "nobody says anything" about this, especially the EU.

Marcelli says that the Spanish government "is culpable for grave violations of fundamental European rules", by pursuing with prison a mass movement with deep roots in a Catalan society "which wanted to peacefully express its own sacrosanct right to self-determination". In his opinion, the Spanish government's attitude could be shooting itself in the foot and affecting Spanish unity.

"If you want to safeguard the national unity of Spain the only way is that of a real constituent process which proceeds from the adequate redefinition of the guarantees necessary for coexistence. Otherwise there will be no alternative to secession for Catalonia and for other regions, starting with the Basque Country." Marcelli concludes that "Rajoy's treatment threatens to kill the patient".

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