Deposed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont's plan to avoid extradition to Spain citing a lack of guarantees for a fair trial in Madrid may prove hard to back up legally under European Arrest Warrant (EAW) rules.
The EU's position that the referendum in Catalonia is illegal and that its independence drive is an internal matter for Spain did not go down well in Serbia. In fact, it irked the Balkan country so much that at one point it considered sending an official letter to the Commission to demand clarification.
Dismissed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont is not seeking political asylum in Belgium and will not return to Spain until he is guaranteed a fair trial, he told a packed news conference in Brussels’ European quarter on Tuesday (31 October).
Sacked Catalan president Parles Puigdemont met on Monday (30 October) with a lawyer in Brussels as the Spanish general prosecutor called for charges of rebellion and sedition over his role in Catalonia's unilateral declaration of independence.
Catalonia's dismissed separatist leader Carles Puigdemont was in Brussels on Monday (30 October), a Spanish government source said, as prosecutors called for him to be charged with rebellion over his drive for Catalan independence.
While hundreds of thousands of Catalans took to the streets on Sunday (29 October) in favour of unity with Spain, the Catalan crisis provoked infighting in the Belgian coalition government after the Flemish nationalists offered asylum to Catalan president Carles Puigdemont.
Spain on Friday (27 October) sacked Catalonia’s regional government, dissolved the Catalan parliament and called a snap election in the region for 21 December, in a bid to draw a line under Spain’s worst political crisis in 40 years.
Spain is slipping into a major crisis, which is also bad news for the EU. The current showdown is hardly unexpected, especially when you’re unlucky enough to have extremists at the helm both in Barcelona and Madrid.
Catalonia's parliament declared independence from Spain in a historic vote on Friday (27 October), setting the scene for a showdown with Madrid, which has announced it would strip the breakaway region of its autonomy.
Madrid was poised on Friday (27 October) to seize control of Catalonia after the region's secessionist leader opted not to call regional elections, which had been seen as a way to ease Spain's worst political crisis in decades.
It has always been like that. There is the power of the street, and there is the power of the banks. In Catalonia, it looks like the silent message from the banks speaks more loudly that the boisterous streets
Two wealthy northern regions in Italy voted on Sunday (22 October) in favour of having increased independence from Rome, in a non-binding referendum that set the stage for negotiations on more autonomy with the central government.
Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz tells EURACTIV.com that the region would be accepted in the EU and therefore become a viable independent economy if it applied, but the former chair of the UK's Financial Services Authority Adair Turner disagrees.
Spain's political showdown with Catalonia is set to reach a new level on Thursday (19 October) when political leaders in Madrid and Barcelona are expected to make good on pledges made to their supporters to stick to their tough positions over the region's future.
Catalonia's independence vote held on 1 October failed to meet the international standards to be considered as a referendum, the head of the international observation mission told EURACTIV.com on Wednesday (18 October).
The leader of Spain's breakaway Catalonia region has asked to meet the Spanish prime minister, aiming to restore dialogue and avoid further escalation, but has not provided a clear answer on whether he would press ahead with independence.
On Monday, local government officials from across the European Union will converge in Brussels for the ‘European Week of Regions and Cities’. As they meet, they will be well aware of the turmoil taking place in one region in particular - Catalonia.
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło told Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday (4 October) that Poland will not interfere with Spain’s domestic affairs. During the telephone conversation she advocated dialogue and compromise as the best solutions. EURACTIV Poland reports.
Catalonia is looking for an international mediator who would help build a minimum of “mutual trust” between Madrid and Barcelona following the region's independence referendum on 1 October, Catalan Permanent Representative to the EU told EURACTIV.