Jailings give Catalan secessionists new cause after disastrous week

FT/Michael Stothard & Tobias Buck/11-03-17

The police vans emerged from the underground car park with blue lights flashing, and sped away into the Madrid dusk. Inside were nine former Catalan ministers and independence leaders, heading for their first night in a Spanish prison cell.

…The arrests on Thursday offered a high-drama coda to a high-drama week that started with a defiant declaration of independence in the Catalan regional parliament and ended with the entire Catalan leadership in jail or on the run.

In legal terms, the separatist defeat is complete.

PG View: Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and his ministers have fled to Brussels and are vowing to fight and efforts to extradite them back to Spain to face charges. The arrest (and exile) of the leadership may however prompt the secessionists to re-coalesce around these “martyrs” to the cause.

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