Catalonia - back to elections

(Reuters) - Attention in Catalonia is now switching to the snap regional elections called by Madrid under newly imposed direct rule. Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has said he will accept the elections in the hope that they will give a new boost to the independence cause. Less certain, however, is whether he and other leading pro-secessionists will be able to take part in them.
Demonstrators wave banners and flags as sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont leaves a news conference at the Press Club Brussels Europe in Brussels, Belgium, October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman
After Puigdemont was holed up yesterday in a modest 70-euro-a-night hotel on the outer rim of Brussels’ European Quarter, his current whereabouts and plans have not been made public. He is in theory due to testify in a Spanish court on Thursday after a state prosecutor recommended charges for rebellion and sedition against him; a no-show could prompt a an arrest warrant that in turn could prevent him from standing in the December vote.
The irony - which may yet prove to be significant - is that while the leadership of the independence movement is in chaos, a new poll shows support for their cause is at a three-year high of 48.7 percent.
As New York comes to terms with a new attack on its soil, France today officially ends a two-year state of emergency imposed after militants killed 130 people in coordinated attacks across Paris. The rub is that it is being replaced by a stringent new anti-terrorism law which critics say undermines civil liberties.
The legislation gives the police greater powers to search properties, conduct electronic eavesdropping and shut down mosques suspected of preaching hatred. Emmanuel Macron, who knows the law is deeply unpopular with sections of the French left, will defend it again today when he meets security forces for a photo-op at the Eiffel Tower.
The Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal in the United States has led to a growing body of allegations and revelations about improper sexual conduct at the heart of British politics. Now Prime Minister Theresa May's deputy, Damian Green, has been referred to the cabinet secretary after an allegation that in 2015 he made inappropriate advances towards a Conservative Party activist three decades his junior. Green denies the allegation.
Catalonia - back to elections Catalonia - back to elections Reviewed by Alexander Von Stern on 03:00:00 Rating: 5