If you’re thinking of living in Spain…

Living in Spain outline map

Spain would like to have Carles Puigdemont extradited back home to face a charge of rebellion.

A German court today ruled against this (though a lesser charge of misuse of public funds might still work). Rebellion is a crime defined as acts of violence against the state or its officers and it takes a Kafkaesque perversion of justice to see how Puidgemont can be guilty of it.

Catalan’s regional government held a unilateral referendum on seceding from Spain on October 1 2017. The Madrid central government declared the referendum illegal, (which it was) but instead of merely warning that it would not accept the results, it used force to prevent people voting. Madrid sent in thousands of police officers to seize ballot papers and lock up buildings used as polling stations. On the day of the vote, the police fired rubber bullets at voters, and used batons to beat them back. Officers were filmed violently dragging elderly people out of polling booths (an action described by the EU as ‘upholding the Rule of Law’). The Spanish Prime Minister, at the time, Mariano Rajoy dismissed the Catalan government, arrested and imprisoned eight of its ministers and issued an international arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont,

The charge against the Catalan ministers carries a possible sentence of 30 years in prison. Sedition and rebellion are usually understood as conspiring or plotting to overthrow by violent force, harm in any way, or more specifically, kill any authority figure in government and, since the only one using violence or trying to overthrow an elected government was Rajoy, that might seem a bit rich, but Spain’s judiciary itself is suspect. In 2016 The Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) published a report stating that Spain does not meet its own recommendations or standards on judicial independence. The European Commission itself placed Spain under observation for deficiencies in its judicial system.

For the full entry on Spain see The Dweller’s Guide To The Planet