There isn´t a nice way of saying it....Spain has been made to look rather foolish in its pursuit of former Catalan leaders who masterminded the illegal referendum. The whole process has made the Spanish government look powerless and in some ways useless. The alleged heavy handed tactics used by police and paramilitary officers during the illegal referendum two years ago was slammed by many across the world. It wasn´t Spain´s finest hour.
Spain then arrested key figures in the pro-independence regional government and former Vice President Oriol Junqueras was sentenced to nine years. However, he will be released from prison shortly because he has immunity as a member of the European Parliament. And yesterday a Brussels court suspended the extradition of former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.
The Belgian judge in charge of the case had ruled in favour of Puigdemont and Toni Comin, another former member of the Catalan government, citing their immunity as members of the European Parliament (MEPs). So not only did Spain not get their men they will also have to release one they did get from prison. Not good. The Spanish government could have handled the whole thing a lot more professionally.
Puigdemont, the leader of the Catalan government at the time of the independence referendum had become Spain´s most wanted man. The fact that he is still at large and continues to be a thorn in the side of the Spanish government just underlines how foolish the Spanish government has been made to look. A disaster from start to finish.