Monday , August 26 2019

Catalan crisis shapes Spain as separatist trial begins


The Catalonia drama unfolded on a new stage with the start of a historic trial of separatist leaders in Madrid — and it threatens to claim the scalp of a second Spanish prime minister in less than a year.
Twelve separatists leaders — led by former Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras who is facing up to 25 years in jail — took their seats before a panel of Supreme Court judges in Madrid as the reckoning begins for the events of late 2017 when the regional government embarked on an illegal bid to split from Spain. The hearings got under way with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez fighting to keep alive his budget plans —and his government.
While the institutional revolt in Catalonia is long since over, its repercussions are still shaping national politics: Sanchez needs the votes of pro-independence parties to get his budget through parliament on Wednesday and Catalan lawmakers are reluctant to be seen lining up alongside the Spanish government when their comrades are in the dock.

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