Catalonia is not Spain
11th September was National Day of Catalonia
Protesters gathered at Barcelona's El Prat airport on Monday in response to the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders.
There were ugly scenes inside, as pro-separatist demonstrators clashed with police in riot gear.
要公投應該 4670 萬西班牙市民都有權投票
爭取加泰獨立活動再起 民族日大遊行據報 40 萬人參與
遊行活動由加泰隆尼亞共和國委員會（Assemblea Nacional Catalana，簡稱ANC）發起，當地警方稱有 10.8 萬人參與，但 ANC 指人數達 40 萬。今次是自西班牙政府於 6 月特赦 9 名加泰隆尼亞分離主義領袖之後，當地再次出現爭取獨立的大型示威活動。2019 年的同類活動人數高達 60 萬，去年則因為 Covid 19 疫情，只有零星細規模活動。
9 月 11 日是加泰羅尼亞民族日，又稱九月十一日節，近年成為爭取獨立運動的示威日子。ANC 主席 Elisenda Paluzie 表示，9 名獲特赦的獨立運動領袖 4 年來首次重返加泰民族日遊行，「政治犯回到街頭了」。
加泰自治區政府下星期將與西班牙中央政府舉行會談，是 2020 年 2 月以來雙方首度會談。不過西班牙總理桑切斯（Pedro Sanchez）至今仍未確認會出席會議。
"No extradition to Spain"
Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont arrested in Sardinia
Former head of autonomous government to appear in court to hear Spanish case for extradition
The former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who fled Spain four years ago in the wake of a failed unilateral bid for regional independence, is due to appear in court in Sardinia after being detained by police shortly after arriving on the Italian island on Thursday.
Puigdemont, now an MEP living in Belgium, is wanted by Spanish courts over his alleged role in the unilateral independence referendum and the subsequent unilateral declaration of independence in October 2017.
He faces charges of sedition and misuse of public funds, for which Spain’s supreme court issued a European and international arrest warrant almost two years ago.
In a statement, Puigdemont’s office said he had been detained on Thursday while on his way to attend a cultural event in the Sardinian city of Alghero and meet the regional head of Sardinia and its ombudsman.
“When he arrived at Alghero airport, he was stopped by the Italian border police. [On Friday] he will be placed at the disposal of the judges of the court of appeal of Sassari, which is competent to decide whether to release him or extradite him,” the statement said.
According to reports in the Italian press, the hearing could be postponed until Saturday.
“We are waiting to acquire some documents and only after that will the validation hearing be set,” Agostinangelo Marras, Puigdemont’s lawyer in Sardinia, told journalists outside the court of appeals in Sassari on Friday morning.
Sardinian separatists gathered outside the court in solidarity with Puigdemont on Friday morning.
“Sardinians have found it painful to see their land transformed into such an ugly scene, where the Italian police arrested a Catalan on the orders of the Spanish magistrates,” said Antonio Moro, president of the Partito Sardo d’Azione – the independence party to which the Sardinia’s governor, Christian Solinas, belongs.
He added. “It’s something that mortifies us.”
Puigdemont and two of his former ministers, Antoni Comín and Carla Ponsatí – who also fled Spain and are also MEPs – were stripped of their immunity by the European parliament in March this year. But the decision to lift their legal immunity can still be appealed.
Puigdemont’s lawyer, Gonzalo Boye, said his client had travelled to Sardinia in his capacity as an MEP, and said the Spanish arrest warrant issued for the former Catalan chief had been suspended. However, a Spanish judicial spokesperson told the Guardian that the supreme court arrest warrant remained active.
In a statement, the Spanish government said Puidgemont “needs to answer for his acts before the courts, just like any other EU citizen”, adding that it respected the decisions of the Italian courts and authorities.
Previous attempts to extradite Puigdemont from Germany and Belgium have proved unsuccessful.
The arrest comes a week after the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, met the current pro-independence Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, for talks aimed at resolving the political impasse over the future of the region.
Sánchez’s Socialist-led coalition government has shown a far less confrontational approach to the Catalan question than its predecessor. The conservative government of Mariano Rajoy deployed police to stop the October 2017 referendum, which was ruled illegal and unconstitutional by Spanish courts. With the support of the senate, Rajoy then used constitutional powers to assume control of the region, dissolve its parliament and call fresh elections.
Sánchez’s more moderate approach has been fiercely criticised by his opponents. In June, the government took the controversial and divisive step of pardoning nine of the Catalan independence leaders who were convicted for their roles in the unsuccessful push for seccession.
The prime minister acknowledged the decision could prove unpopular, but said it was “the best one for Catalonia, the best one for Spain, and the one which most closely represents the spirit of coexistence and harmony set out in the Spanish constitution”.
Puidgdemont was not included in the pardons as he has never faced trial.
Aragonès offered his support to Puigdemont, saying the “persecution and judicial repression” had to stop, and repeating calls for an amnesty and for Catalan self-determination.
Members of the Catalan national assembly, an influential pro-independence civil society group, staged a protest outside the Italian consulate in Barcelona on Friday morning.
Alghero hosted a significant Catalan community after it was conquered in the 14th century by the Aragonese crown and strong cultural links have been maintained to this day, with its Catalan dialect still recognised as a minority language.
Puigdemont was due to be guest of honour at the three-day AdiFolk festival, where Catalan folk musicians and dancers will perform. He was also due to attend an assembly of Sardinian separatists on Sunday in Oristano. Sardinia has its own independence movement, with activists campaigning in 2014 for the island to be sold to Switzerland.