The pro-independence Esquerra Republicana party, which Oriol Junqueras leads, called for his “immediate release” from jailed.
Source: EU top court rules Catalan separatist Junqueras was MEP with immunity when jailed in Spain | Euronews
The overarching objective is always independence, but this year’s Catalonia’s annual commemorative day reflected the internal divisions between the different regional independent parties at odds with Madrid.
The Diada, or national day of Catalonia, has been celebrated every September 11 since 1886 – and since 2012 has been marked by calls for independence.
The day was still marked by a push for independence backed by the current government with a protest around 16h CEST marking the day that Barcelona surrendered to King Philip V of Bourbon, after 13 months of resisting the siege of his troops in 1714.
The majority of protesters congregated in Plaza de España, in the centre of Barcelona, which the protest organisers want to make the centre of “strategic unity to achieve the common goal of independence.”
But participation was lower than in recent years, in part due to the strong independence pressure that has seriously shaken Catalan and Spanish society.
Local police in Barcelona said 600,000 people participated in the demonstration down from one million last year.
Source: Watch again: Catalonia’s National Day kicks off despite divisions between independentist parties | Euronews
May 22, Day 45 of Trial
Wednesday’s session started with the testimonies of Catalan government officials and ended with the beginning of the “expert phase.”
– Jordi Martínez Soler, a social media advisor for the Parliament, explained that he managed Forcadell’s social media accounts in Autumn 2017 and explained the content of the tweets he tweeted during that time.
– Ricard Gené, who was part of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC)’s secretariat at the same time as Carme Forcadell, explained that the role of Forcadell, currently accused of rebellion, was as a ”representative and not an executive.”
“Forcadell was not involved in elaborating the ANC’s roadmap,” he said.
– Rosa Maria Sans, who is the head of management of the use of government facilities and equipment by non-profit organizations at the Catalan Department of Labour, Social Affairs and Families, explained how was his work during the 2017 Autumn.
Source: Catalan Independence Trial: Summary Most Important Testimonies May 22 and 23 – Josep Goded
It is believed to be the first time that elected, imprisoned individuals have been allowed into the assembly.
Oriol Junqueras, Catalonia’s regional vice president, and fellow separatists Josep Rull, Jordi Turull and Jordi Sànchez won seats during Spain’s April 2019 general election. Raül Romeva, meanwhile, won a seat in Spain’s senate.
They are currently being held in prison, awaiting trial on rebellion, sedition and embezzlement charges. It is linked to their role in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum, which Madrid later declared illegal.
On Monday, they were escorted to parliament to collect credentials. Their trial has been put on hold but is expected to resume on Wednesday.
However, despite their election success, there is doubt over whether the politicians will be able to take part in debates.
Under Parliamentary rules, any member placed in temporary detention is automatically suspended.
Junqueras took to Twitter to thank his supporters and voters as he took his seat: ”A million thank yous”, he wrote.
Source: Spanish first as jailed Catalan leaders sworn-in at parliament | Euronews
Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is forecast to win the most seats in the vote, but could need Catalan separatists’ backing to form a government. A unionist, rightist coalition winning a majority is another possible scenario.
The Catalan leaders’ call, made in a letter in Saturday’s edition of La Vanguardia newspaper, said separatists should enter talks with potential coaltion partners as long as they refused to rule out an independence referendum as a “possible solution” for the region.
That marked a softening of their previous stance and raises the possibility of compromise on an issue that has vexed past coalition talks.
Source: Jailed Catalan leaders ease position on post-election coalition talks – Reuters