Trial of Catalonia independence leaders a stress test for Spain’s democracy

Trial of Catalonia independence leaders a stress test for Spain’s democracy

Trial of Catalonia independence leaders a stress test for Spain’s democracy

Written by Reuters

12 Feb, 2019 | 6:40 pm

Reuters – A trial of 12 Catalan political leaders in Madrid on Tuesday (February 12) is a stress test for Spain’s judicial system and its democracy, former leader of Catalonia, living in self-imposed exile in Belgium, Carles Puigdemont said during a conference in Berlin.

“As of today, the Spanish judiciary system is undergoing a test, and given that in democracy and within the rule of law, the judiciary system is a fundamental pillar, that means that this (trial) is a stress test for Spain’s democracy,” he told reporters in Berlin.

Twelve Catalan politicians face charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds for their part in an illegal declaration of independence by the northeastern region in October 2017.

The public prosecutor is seeking prison terms of up to 25 years.

The trail starts as the Socialist government, which controls less than a quarter of seats in parliament, faces a key vote on the 2019 budget on Wednesday (February 13). A failure to approve the budget proposal could prompt a snap parliamentary election this year.

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