Puigdemont released on bail

The Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont has been released on bail after judges of the district court in Schleswig, Germany, rejected Spain's extradition request. They ruled that Catalan independence had not been pursued in a violent manner and that consequently the Spanish judiciary's rebellion charges were untenable.

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El Mundo (ES) /

A European constitional state or a Fourth Reich

Columnist Federico Jiménez Losantos voices his dismay in El Mundo at the German court's decision not to extradite Puigdemont on charges on rebellion:

“The court in Schleswig Holstein has joined the Catalan coup by denying Spain's Supreme Court the authority to pass judgement on the alleged crimes committed in our country. ... A European arrest warrant should be carried out, not commented on or overturned. What right do the judges of a regional court in a member state have to annul the decision of the supreme court of another member state? There are higher instances in Europe. And if there aren't, then there is no Europe. There's a Fourth Reich.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Germany is betraying Rajoy's Spain

Germany should not treat its loyal ally Spain this way, Rzeczpospolita comments after Puigdemont's release:

“At the height of the crisis Mariano Rajoy passed stringent economic reforms at Angela Merkel's behest, and in this way saved his country from bankruptcy and the EU from its demise. Today, however, the Spanish prime minister has every reason to feel betrayed. If he is replaced by anti-European populists - as has happened in Italy - Berlin will have to assume part of the responsibility. By then, however, it could be too late for the EU.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Judges are not stooges for the politicians

Berlin can't keep hiding behind the justice system, the Süddeutsche Zeitung warns:

“It is not the judges' job to make things less difficult for German politicians or conceal the consequences of political failures. The conflict in Spain requires a political solution - and European politicians and also German politicians must support this process. The judges in Schleswig-Holstein were not and are not there to help politicians out of a crisis and sweep legal reservations under the carpet in this game. If things go well, very well, the German judges' ruling will mark the start of a political solution and the beginning of talks. The Spanish problems cannot be resolved through criminal law.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

Germany opens the eyes of the Spanish judiciary

The decision of the court in Schleswig could force Spain's judiciary to rethink its approach, La Vanguardia believes:

“The legal proceedings against the Catalan attempt to secede from Spain, which was encouraged by the regional government without much regard for the law, will continue. There is no alternative and nor should there be, because the judiciary is obliged to take action to defend the law. But the decision of the judiciary of Germany, the strongest political and economic power in Europe, marks a turning point in the proceedings against the separatists. Or at least in the way they are being approached. The Spanish judiciary is of course independent. But the German judiciary has just told it - with all Europe listening - that things can be done differently.”