Quim Torra, the president of the regional government of Catalonia, has officially been disqualified from office
Last November in the build up to a general election in Spain Kim Torah, the president of the Regional Government of Catalonia hung a banner on the building in which the government sits demanding the freedom of certain of his colleagues presently in prison or in exile, and what we are going to ask Mister Sanchez. Okay. Obviously and of repression to sit together in these table of negotiations with no conditions that means that we are going to put on. The table, these referendum, these right of Catalonia to self determination, and we want to ask Mr Scientific for the amnesty for our colleagues imprison this week. This act appears to have caused cream Torah his job Spain's Supreme Court has upheld a previous decision banning him from public office eighteen months a consequence of him disobeying an earlier court order to remove the poster which was held to violate election laws against displaying political materials in were indeed on public buildings. He was also fine. Thirty thousand euros treated to a judicial wigging for his quote stubborn blunt repeated and obstinate on quote refusal to do as he was told. Others naturally be afraid of these magistrates if the Supreme Court would decide whether to disqualify democratic and legitimate president for having defended freedom of expression justice prisoners, coalitions, and the return of the exiles these traits today have in their hands. Something much more important than my political futures wanted. Not For any banner. But for banner that defended the fundamental rights denied I mean stylish kitchen. Inevitably given the nature of populist nationalist movements of the tight which Mr Tara leads he and his supporters will regard this damnation as a ringing endorsement. The practical upshot of this decision is that Catalonia has a new acting president, vice president and Economy Minister Arrogance and the Embassy of Catalan independence have been stoked once again with potentially combustible consequences. For Listeners who've been sufficiently bewildered by recent global events that decathlon succession crisis feels like something that happened circa the battle of Salamanca as opposed to three years ago a brisk recap is possibly in order. In October, two thousand and seventeen, the procession regional government of Catalonia through a referendum on independence. This vote had already been declared illegitimate by Spain's national government ruled illegal by Spain's constitutional. Court. and was widely boycotted by pro unionists within Catalonia. What they are pushing is not democracy it's a mockery of democracy travesty of democracy. Referendum do not equal or do not equate democracy. The result was ninety percent in favor of independence but on a turnout of only forty three percent. Nevertheless on October twenty, seventh, two, thousand and Seventeen Catalonia's parliament. Independence Solutia. The COLOSIO Delta repetant parliamentary get rather sit down. Though in Punta. The worst Zimba. Spain's national government was unimpressed by this and accordingly sacked Catalonia's leaders dissolved its parliament and instituted direct rule from Madrid Catalonia's. Can Preach Demont and a few other putative architects of the Catalan nation skipped the country. Wisely, it turned out those who stayed were arrested and charged with treason several received hefty prison sentences including Catalan vice president, Auriol Carris, currently serving thirteen years. President preached amount remains in exile in Belgium from where he has managed to get elected to European Parliament as a representative of Spain Vice? President John Carey has also been elected to European Parliament although for obvious reasons is yet take his seat. Absolutely none of which has caused the idea of Catalan independence to go away at least not entirely though recent polls do suggest dwindling enthusiasm for the idea from nearly forty nine percent at the time of the referendum to perhaps forty two percent. Now, President Torre has strongly suggested that regional elections may be held early in two thousand, twenty one, which he is already framing as a choice as he puts it between democracy and freedom or repression and imposition. The, difficulty with this argument is that in the present dispensation, Catalonia is not short of either democracy or freedom. It is the richest part of what is by global standards a wealthy country. It enjoys considerable autonomy electing its own parliament flying signed flag, speaking its own language, controlling its own police and many of the public services, including schools and healthcare. The Catalan independence movement often looks and sounds less like some heroic struggle to slough off a brutal imperialist yoke. The net does populist insurrection like Brexit, another self indulgent tantrum thrown by the complacent citizens of a prosperous and orderly nation rebelling against some imaginary tyranny door is breaking. Independent United Kingdom. The difference of course is that Mr Torah his colleagues and supporters do have a case on the repression and imposition front as well. The referendum of two thousand and seventeen was a stunt which all, but begged Madrid to overreact and indeed. Did Not just in its heavy-handed persecutions of the independence movements, ringleaders. But in the ham-fisted response of the National Police and Guardia Civil, which left hundreds of pro-independence protestors injured and Spain's government looking like exactly the authoritarian overlords that Catalonia's government was accusing them of being. Versus the cycle of Grievance keeps turning in firing president. Torres Spain might be about to discover again the folly of punishing those who want to be punished.