Pedro Sanchez got what he wanted, what he has struggled for two years to get his hands on, being Prime Minister of Spain, albeit only just - by two votes and lots of abstentions.

However, despite his position finally being secured, to a large part thanks to the cooperation from the united left party in Catalonia, Sanchez is still prepared to allow Spain to go ahead with attempts to arrest the self-exiled Catalan MEP Carles Puigdemont.

The European Parliament has apparently begun looking into, at the request of the Spanish authorities, of the possibility of lifting the parliamentary immunity of Puigdemont. He fled in 2017 after Spain issued a warrant to arrest him for his part in what Madrid deemed an illegal Catalan independence referendum. He is now based in Belgium and became an MEP last May. He wants to return to Spain next month to visit jailed ex-leaders of Catalonia.

The immunity of MEPs is not a “personal privilege” but “guarantees that MEPs can exercise their mandate without being threatened by arbitrary or political proceedings”, according to the European Parliament. Puigdemont took his seat as a member of the European

Parliament on Monday, following a ruling from the EU’s top court which allowed him to do so. But, if Puigdemont’s parliamentary immunity is lifted, it will be up to Spain to decide whether to annul his mandate as MEP. If a ruling goes against him, it could make life very difficult for Sanchez.


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