brussels - The five deposed Catalan former ministers who have fled to Belgium remain there 'for the moment.' Former Prime Minister Carles Puigdemont said on Wednesday in Brussels that they first want to make clear what happens when they return to Spain.
The Spanish Supreme Court put a line on Tuesday by the European arrest warrant that Madrid had issued. Supreme judge Pablo Llarena determined that the arrest warrant is no longer necessary, because the Catalan politicians have indicated that they want to return to Spain.
According to former Prime Minister Puigdemont, the Spanish judges removed the arrest warrant for fear that Belgian judges would judge that there is no ground for the charges. Due to the withdrawal of the order, delivery by Belgium is off the ground, but in Spain the five still risk being arrested for their role in proclaiming Catalan independence. They risk up to thirty years in prison for rebellion, according to the separatist Puigdemont.
On Thursday, a large demonstration will be held in Brussels by Catalan separatist movements and their supporters. 20,000 people are expected. New elections will be held in Catalonia in two weeks. According to Puigdemont, the Spanish government does not want to allow international observers.