The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Troubles Continue for Catalan Leaders after Independence Push

Credit%3A+Wikimedia+Commons.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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Shortly after declaring independence from Spain, President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, and several of his officials fled to Belgium due to the Spanish Government taking direct control over the region and accusing the government of Catalonia of treason.

According to The Independent, “The Catalan independence push has deeply divided Spain, dragging it into its worst political crisis since the return of democracy four decades ago and fueling anti-Spanish sentiment in Catalonia and nationalist tendencies elsewhere.”

Protests in favor of secession have taken over the streets, blocking dozens of roads and bringing the region to a standstill. However, this turnout was significantly less than other protests in favor of secession, according to The New York Times.

In addition to this, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also dissolved the regional parliament and called for local elections to be held December 21.

However, on November 5, Puigdemont and his officials all turned themselves into the police in Brussels. They will be investigated by a Belgian judge who will decide whether or not to execute the EU arrest warrant issued by Spain last week.

Puigdemont told BBC he would not return to Spain unless he is guaranteed a fair trial.

He and his colleagues are wanted for rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds, disobedience, and breach of trust following their declaration of independence from Spain.

Senor Garcia is a Spanish teacher here at Williston who was born and raised in Spain. He is against Catalonian independence and has been from the start of this turmoil.

“I don’t think that the people who support independence have a clear vision about what they want is the best for Catalonia,” Garcia said. “I feel that the majority of Catalans don’t support independence, but they have been silenced by the people who support it.”

According to Reuters, Puigdemont was spared custody on Monday, November 6, after the Belgian judge ruled that he could remain in Belgium in order to campaign for independence during the aforementioned December 21 elections in Catalonia.

This means that the December voting is turning out to be a de facto independence referendum.

Other figures in Catalonia’s Parliament were not so lucky. According to The Independent, Catalonian Parliament speaker Carme Forcadell will be held in custody until bail is paid. Bail is currently set at 150,000 euros, which is equivalent to nearly $175,000.

Forcadell does not feel that this punishment is legal; she told The New York Times that the “October 27 independence declaration was not legally binding,” and therefore could not be used to imprison her.

Spain thinks it is within its rights, according to the constitution, to imprison her.

Puigdemont and his colleagues will be held in a formal trial on November 17, in regards to the arrest warrants on their heads courtesy of the Spanish Government.

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The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America
Troubles Continue for Catalan Leaders after Independence Push