Gerard Pique’s focus as his team took a valuable 1-0 advantage in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg at Manchester United was particularly impressive, given the many potential distractions inside the Barcelona defender’s head.
There were reasonable grounds for hoping, 15 months ago, that the Catalan separatist leaders jailed and awaiting trial on charges of rebellion and sedition would be freed while a new Spanish government dependent on supply and confidence agreements with Basque and Catalan MPs got on with the essential business of trying to negotiate its way out of the crisis that threatens Spain’s democracy.
THE determination of Spain’s government to get all of its Catalan dissidents back to Madrid to face trial, along with 20 others awaiting hearings and sentences, for the monstrous crime of being, well, dissidents, shows no signs of losing impetus.
Spain’s King Felipe VI has said the recent Catalan push for independence was an attack on his country’s democratic system, and should serve as a lesson for the world on the need to preserve the rule of law and national sovereignty.
A Spanish court is reviewing an appeal by former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras against his jailing as he awaits formal charges over possible rebellion, sedition and embezzlement over the region’s recent drive for independence from Spain.
The Spanish government’s heavy-handed and myopic strategy for dealing with its Catalan secession challenge has produced precisely the result it was designed to prevent, with a majority in the region’s new parliament won by the coalition of parties in favour of establishing a breakaway republic.
Catalonia's secessionist parties won enough votes on Thursday to regain a slim majority in the regional parliament and give new momentum to their political struggle for independence from Spain.