- This week in Germany, Puigdemont is arrested, defending Martin Selmayr, Oettinger is tested, and Facebook tampering with Brexit? Zuckerberg won’t attest it!
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont was arrested and detained in Germany on a European Arrest Warrant on Sunday.
Carles Puigdemont, the former Catalan president who is wanted in Spain on sedition charges, was arrested by the German police on a European warrant https://t.co/OmqNfEtL13
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) March 26, 2018
But Germany won’t extradite if fundamental rights are threatened, reported Rob Howse.
#PuigdemontAPrision #Puigdemont situation in #Germany. Order of German constitutional court (2015/2016):Germany won't extradite despite European Arrest Warrant,if fundamental rights are threatened.German court must conduct human rights review.https://t.co/KwKGkjlgJk @lizcastro
— Rob Howse (@howserob) March 27, 2018
After the judge hearing the Puigdemont case said extradition may be “inadmissible.”
German judge hearing Puigdemont case says extradition may be "inadmissible"
— elnacionalcat_en (@elnacionalcatEN) March 27, 2018
Teivo Teivainen queried whether the independence movements in Catalonia had been violent? Or if any violence could be attributed to Puigdemont?
Let us talk about #violence. Have the independence movements in #Catalonia been violent? Can violence be attributed to #Puigdemont? Or is it rather about framing of a non-violent movement so that repressive measures by the Spanish state can be justified? #spain #catalunya
— Teivo Teivainen (@TeivoTeivainen) March 27, 2018
But on Wednesday, protesters demonstrating against Puigdemont’s detention blocked highways across Catalonia and roads in central Barcelona.
Protesters demonstrating against the detention of ousted leader Carles Puigdemont and other Catalan politicians blocked highways across Catalonia and roads in central Barcelona. pic.twitter.com/CcCnfCNwNC
— The National (@ScotNational) March 28, 2018
James Crisp asked: “Am I the only person who thinks Puigdemont deserves to be in prison for being stupid enough to drive around Europe when he is a wanted man?”
Am I the only person who thinks Puigdemont deserves to be in prison for being stupid enough to drive around Europe when he is a wanted man?
— James Crisp (@JamesCrisp6) March 26, 2018
Errrr, kinda, James.
Speaking of wanted or indeed unwanted men, the Commission released its response to MEPs’ questions about Martin Selmayr’s appointment as secretary general in the latest edition of #SelmayrGate…
— Mina Andreeva (@Mina_Andreeva) March 25, 2018
…at the highly suspicious time of 3am on Sunday.
— Nikos Chrysoloras (@nchrysoloras) March 25, 2018
2,300 words and 80 pages published at Trump o’clock won’t convince many, said Jack Parrock.
#EU @EU_Commission releases its answers to #SelmayrGate questions from the @Europarl_EN at 3am (Trump time). They say the rules were followed and @MartinSelmayr’s appointment is “legal”. This 80 page paper won’t convince many of that. https://t.co/1qbhLs9KL1
— Jack Parrock (@jackeparrock) March 25, 2018
And MEPs definitely weren’t satisfied. On Wednesday, they grilled Human Resources Commissioner Gunther Oettinger, who was apparently like a cat chasing his tail.
"After breathless accusations about a nepotism scandal, European Parliament hearing on Martin Selmayr’s promotion was like watching a cat chase its own tail" https://t.co/AxxCngEss1
— Saskia Dekkers (@saskiadekkers) March 28, 2018
Indeed, many of them laughed when Oetti explained that Selmayr took part in drafting the 80-page response to “ensure the information was complete.”
MEPs laugh when @GOettingerEU says Selmayr took part in drafting the 80-page EC response to "ensure information is complete"
— Bruno Waterfield (@BrunoBrussels) March 27, 2018
And in a master performance of understatement, Oettinger admitted that Selmayr’s promotion “could have been done better.”
Yesterday in Parliament, Günther Oettinger hit back at criticism over Martin Selmayr appointment, but he did admit, “things could have been done better." https://t.co/mvjtYGRLD0 #SelmayrGate ft. @inge_graessle @BartStaes @brianhayesMEP pic.twitter.com/Q6evRNLHYr
— Parliament Magazine (@Parlimag) March 28, 2018
As for the timing of the release, that was just a coincidence!
EU budget chief Gunther Oettinger has a stab at explaining why the Commission dumped its 80-page explanation of Selmayr's appointment on its website at 3am on Saturday: 'It was just by chance that it happened when the clocks changed.'
— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) March 27, 2018
But while Parliament accuses the Commission of cronyism and shady backroom deals, it’s allegedly not so innocent. “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” said Maïa de La Baume.
« People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones », I was told. European Parliament accused of political stitch-up over top posts https://t.co/nPluVz9ey8
— Maïa de La Baume (@maiadelabaume) March 29, 2018
Shock images from the European Parliament following MEP accusations of cronyism at the European Commission. pic.twitter.com/WjhUObCxzT
— Berlaymonster (@Berlaymonster) March 29, 2018
Parliament will vote on #SelmayrGate in April. Spoof account Martini Seltzermayr asked, “Anyone have a number for Cambridge Analytica?”
— Martini Seltzermayr (@mseltzermayr) March 27, 2018
He may well ask. On Tuesday, a former Cambridge Analytica employee revealed that the Brexit campaign used data that the company stole from Facebook users to sway the referendum.
Former Cambridge Analytica employee testifies that the Brexit movement likely used stolen Facebook data before Britain broke with the European Union. https://t.co/C6E25SUYhi
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 27, 2018
If they hadn’t done that, the vote could have gone the other way, Chris Wylie told the UK Parliament.
— Bloomberg Brexit (@Brexit) March 27, 2018
He said this “breach of the law” was cheating.
Whistleblower Chris Wylie is asked whether allegations of cheating "made much difference to the final outcome" of the EU referendum.
Cambridge Analytica and Vote Leave deny any wrongdoing. pic.twitter.com/WP5BfVf3xZ
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) March 27, 2018
Jamie Ross likened Wylie trying to explain social media to MPs to a patient grandson trying to set up a Skype call with his gran.
I do admire Christopher Wylie trying his best to explain social media to MPs like a patient grandson trying to set up a Skype call with his gran.
— Jamie Ross (@JamieRoss7) March 27, 2018
Theresa May didn’t want to talk about the situation. “The referendum was held, the vote was taken and we will be delivering on it,” she said. Gee, thanks Maybot!
British Prime Minister @Theresa_May: "The referendum was held, the vote was taken, the people gave their view, and we will be delivering on it."
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 28, 2018
This is an astonishing response, said Alex Andreou. Valuing political expediency over The Rule of Law.
This is an astonishing response. Valuing political expediency over The Rule of Law and proudly stating it to Parliament.
— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) March 28, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg responded to the scandal by publishing an apology letter in UK newspapers.
Facebook has full-page ads signed by Mark Zuckerberg in UK newspapers today to apologise for the #CambridgeAnalytica scandal.
The phrase “You’ll need more then that my little hombre” comes to mind. pic.twitter.com/v0zyEuTFh9
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) March 25, 2018
But won’t testify before the UK Parliament.
Mark Zuckerberg refuses summons from UK Parliament to answer questions on data abuse https://t.co/slCqyVApOB
— The Independent (@Independent) March 27, 2018
After Wylie’s testimony, that’s cowardly and completely unacceptable, said Tom Watson.
After listening to Christopher Wylie’s devastating testimony to the DCMS Select Committee it’s probably worth saying that this isn’t just cowardly, it’s completely unacceptable. https://t.co/P2N5C8KFqI
— Tom Watson (@tom_watson) March 27, 2018
This week we are supported by Eurochild, who report that the Welsh government is bringing child participation to the political agenda by asking kids’ opinion on Brexit.
Some positive news coming from Brexit negotiations – Welsh government to ask views of #children Congrats @ChildreninWales and @YoungWalesCIW for bringing #childparticipation to the political agenda! https://t.co/Y8Mc7OoeKi #BrexitCYPWales https://t.co/KrhGZynPI4
— Eurochild_org (@Eurochild_org) March 29, 2018
That’ll be interesting!
That’s it for this week, join me again next week for more dramatic developments in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere and send in your suggestion using the hashtag #EUTweets.