The European Union is not too popular in Spain. In fact, some people are so angry that they are calling for a very Spanish style Brexit. The reason? The fury stems from Thursday’s ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) saying that imprisoned Catalan separatist leader Oriol Junqueras was entitled to immunity as an MEP after being elected in May. He could now be released from prison.
To make matters worse for the Spanish government former Catalan leaders Carles Puigdemont and Antoni Comin received temporary accreditation as members of the European Parliament yesterday a day after the European Union’s highest court issued a ruling with favourable implications for them.
Puigdemont is Spain’s most wanted man and his exile in Belgium has caused widespread outrage in Spain. The former Catalan regional government president said he hoped to take part in the next parliamentary session and criticised the Spanish judiciary, which he said was not independent and could not guarantee the defence of their rights. Puigdemont faces an arrest warrant from Spain for his role in the 2017 failed independence drive in Catalonia. The warrant is being analysed by Belgium. He said he wished to visit Catalonia as soon as possible, but that it was too early to say when that would be.
The whole issue has made the European Union and its judiciary deeply unpopular and in will be interesting to see what is the next twist in this long drawn affair.