Crisis in Catalonia — Even without Theo Francken’s statement, Carles Puigdemont would have come to Belgium
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    Crisis in Catalonia — Even without Theo Francken’s statement, Carles Puigdemont would have come to Belgium

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The confirmation by State Secretary for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken (N-VA), that Carles Puigdemont could file a request for asylum in Belgium, did not impact the decision of the demoted Catalan Minister-President to enter our country, his attorney Paul Bekaert said Tuesday evening on the broadcast “De Afspraak” (Canvas). “It played no role,” Mr. Bekaert affirmed. “All Puigdemont had to do was to ask his attorney in Barcelona where he could apply for asylum. I believe Brussels was an obvious option. Should he return to Spain, Madrid will place him behind bars, and he will no longer be able to do anything. At least now he can still speak freely, even if it is from Brussels.”

    Even though Mr. Puigdemont thanked today his “N-VA friends” during his speech in Bozar before 200 Catalan mayors, he has not had any formal contact with the Party President Bart De Wever. “All contact with the outside world goes through me. Things may happen informally, but in any case, I have not noticed that N-VA deputies have offered him assistance.”

    “We do not need help from the political Belgium,” Bekaert says. “It is up to the magistrate to decide on his fate. Should he request his return, no politician can prevent it. The separation of powers predominates in this case.”

    Mr. Bekaert does not think that there exist direct contacts between Spanish justice and the political world. “But there surely are magistrates who think just like a good number of right-wing politicians. They share the same “indivisible Spain” mentality. 

    Christopher Vincent 
    The Brussels Times