The Spanish government scored a win as former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four associates turned themselves in to Belgian police, opening themselves up to the possibility of extradition. Things aren’t as rosy on the home front as the independence movement seems poised for victory in the upcoming election.
Puigdemont and the four parliamentarians have been released by a Belgian judge on conditions that they appear in court within 15 days,
Why it matters
Spain has declared that any attempts by Catalonia to declare independence is illegal. They have taken control of the government for now, but the upcoming elections may put more people into office who push for independence. How they handle Puigdemont and his colleagues will have an effect on the future of the region.
Under the European arrest warrant system, the five defendants in Belgium can agree to an extradition order immediately or the judge can set bail or detain them. Belgian authorities have to inform their European counterparts if a European arrest warrant cannot be executed after 90 days.
On Saturday, Puigdemont – who PDeCAT said on Sunday would lead the party in the election – called for a united Catalan political front for independence from Spain and against the detention of his former members of government.