FORMER president of Catalunya, Carles Puigdemont, is set to appear in court today after he was arrested in Germany on Sunday.
He will appear in front of a German judge and the court will decide if he is to remain in custody with pending extradition proceedings.
News of his detainment sparked a wave of violent riots in Catalunya, leaving more than 50 people injured and four arrested.
After five months on the run from Spanish authorities, Puigdemont was intercepted on the motorway near the Danish border by German police.
He was reportedly travelling from Finland to Belgium after meeting with Finnish legislators in Helsinki.
A European arrest warrant was was reactivated by a Spanish Supreme Court on Friday, in which he is wanted on charges of rebellion, misuse of public funds and sedition over his involvement in the Catalunya referendum in October, for which he could face a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
Spain’s state prosecutor office said it had been in contact with German authorities in an attempt to catch Puigdemont and extradite him to Spain.
Within hours of the news breaking, thousands took to the streets of Barcelona and neighbouring cities to protest Puigdemont’s arrest.
Police were seen striking protesters with batons, as the crowd made its way towards the German consulate and the Spanish government’s representative, while blocking off major roads.
Although Catalan pro-independence parties called for peaceful demonstrations, the night took a turn for the worse as hundreds attempted to break through police cordons, throwing street barriers and burning rubbish bins.
It comes after the region of Catalunya unilaterally declared independence from Spain after an illegal referendum vote in October.
Puigdemont was then fired by Spanish authorities and fled to Belgium, before charges were made against him and other members of his party.
Catalan parliament was then dissolved and the region has since been under direct rule from Madrid.
In German the Name of Mr. Puigdemont sounds like Putsch daemon.
You may guess the German obsession for correctness has caused the arrest of Mr Puigdemont. This sounds implausible as the German government expressed always its opinion that the Catalan conflict should be handled as an internal Spanish affair. Therefor it would have been easy to let Mr. Puigdemont go and to express our sorrow to the Spanish government, that the arrest warrant came too late and that the dumb village policemen from the German region of Schleswig-Holstein had screwed up the arrest. Now Germany is sitting between all chairs. If we deliver Mr. Puigdemont to Spain, then Barcelona will become a nogo-area for German tourists.
If we have to release him (by requirement of German law) we will have quarrels with the Spanish government.
Perhaps the real answer is more tricky. The regional minister of interior of Schleswig-Holstein is a member of the Conservative Party (CDU). He had ordered that Puigdemont has to be arrested.
The new German federal coalition government formed by Conservatives and Social-Democrats is the fourth coalition of this kind in a row, and is not popular with both parties. The new government is in power since two weeks. German Chancellor is Mrs. Angela Merkel from the Conservatives (as usual).
The new foreign minister is Mr. Maas and the new minister of justice is Mrs. Barley. Both are Social-Democrats. And both are in charge to deal with this case. If they fail, the Social Democrats will suffer a press shitstorm, and Angela Merkel will tell us, this is a proof that Social Democrats are not able to run the country.