The arrest in Germany of former Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, has caused an outcry amongst pro-independence supporters, but the Spanish government appears to be winning the battle against the breakaway from Spain. The Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy has handed the fight against the rebellious element of Catalonia's political elite over to the courts. Separatist leaders, including the latest candidate to become regional president, Jordi Turull, were ordered to be jailed pending their trial. The Catalan parliament's failure last week to vote in Turull as president started a two-month countdown to elect a new leader before a regional election is triggered.
The forceful action by the government and courts appeared to be bringing a close to what has been one of Spain's worst political crises since the return of democracy in the 1970s. The arrest of Puigdemont is the icing on the cake for Rajoy. Puigdemont has been a pain in the side of the Spanish government since he fled to Belgium five months ago. The Spanish security services were involved in his arrest. It was reported yesterday that a tracking system had been fitted to his vehicle by the Spanish intelligence service. Are we seeing an end to the Catalan breakaway for independence? Probably not, but what we are seeing is the end of what many would see as a more forceful push for independence. Rajoy can savour the moment but he knows that there are many battles ahead.