Read in Catalan

It's hard - or maybe not so hard - to believe what the Spanish Supreme Court leaked to the Europa Press agency on Wednesday, in its first reaction since last Friday's decision of the EU General Court (EGC) stating that the legal procedure of origin is suspended and, consequently, Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí cannot be arrested. The Supreme Court says four very surprising things: that if the Catalan MEPs set foot on Spanish territory, they will be arrested; that the text made public is an extract and that the full resolution should be read; that judge Pablo Llarena will respond to both the EGC and the MEPs' legal team, in his own time, when he has read it, and, in a surprising warning, that Spanish law is not subject to European law.

Well, the warning which the EGC thus gave from Luxembourg not to 'do a Poland' with European law - after last October the Constitutional Court in Warsaw ruled that the European Union is not competent to appraise Polish justice and its operation, emboldening that country's government to avoid submitting itself to EU law - has apparently had little effect after crossing the Pyrenees and reaching Madrid. We'll see how the Supreme Court expresses itself in the communication that Llarena is to write and present in this race towards the precipice that he has been engaged in for a long time. And we'll see the extent to which he can maintain his contention, in a situation that obviously goes beyond the frontiers of justice to enter fully into the broader territory of the European Commission's relations with Spain.

If the path taken implies that Spain, like Poland, will face a fine of one million euros per day for not implementing the decisions of European justice, someone will have to pay for that, beyond the implication that the Spanish state will thus be aligned with the small group of countries where judicial and political autarky exceed the threshold of contempt, to draw close to what is already found in Turkey and in Poland itself. It is also noteworthy that, deep into the 21st century, the reading of rulings in English by Spanish Supreme Court judges cannot take place in real time, and they have to go through a team of translators, as if we were in the 1950s. Someone should let them know that this does not leave the best impression of the Supreme Court in Brussels and that English is not at all like, for example, Chinese or Russian, to the point where now any medium-sized company has people in its leadership for whom English is, for these purposes, practically Spanish. This is perhaps a way of understanding the position that is taken with Spain's other official languages, such as Catalan, if one has the idea that with Spanish alone you can go to the end of the world.

In any case, it will be interesting to see if the logic of this leak is simply to send a balloon up or if it represents the court's final position. Because the Supreme Court, beyond this apparently-determined attitude of confrontation with European justice, does not have it easy. Staying on this path of contempt for the European courts has a double cost, judicial and political. In the case of the first, the senior Spanish judiciary - Constitutional and Supreme Courts and the General Council of the Judiciary - have long assumed that it was coming. But what about the political ridicule? The lever of the European funds may end up working miracles. One cannot be a part-time partner in Europe, and Brussels is not interested in spreading the idea that each country can do whatever it wants with its legislation.

It is also understandable that rectification is not easy for Llarena, as it means dismantling  all the legal architecture he has built. But sometimes, when the choice is between the bad and the worse, it is better to opt for the first option.