SPAIN ended up being the only surviving fascist regime in Europe,with a genocide of 300,000 people behind it that is unparalleled in Europe.

What’s more, this ultra-nationalist Spain treats Catalonia as a colony.

Since the Francoist dictatorship was never defeated, when it was forced to move towards a semblance of democracy they ensured that its essence survived by maintaining control of the judiciary, the army and the police.

In the EU, Spanish justice is considered comparable to that of other European states because it works reasonably well on most issues, except when it comes to the monarchy or the unity of the state. In these cases it gives a glimpse of the underlying Francoism, as has happened with regard to the desire of the Catalan national minority that wants to live outside this Spain that plunders and mistreats Catalonia. In regard to the Catalan pro-independence project, justice is used as a political weapon, like Turkey does against the Kurds.

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But the EU fails to realise this, because recently the advocate general of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Richard de la Tour (contradicting the doctrine used until now by the European courts) has considered that Belgium did not act correctly when it refused the extradition of the Catalan exile Lluís Puig on the grounds that he would not have a fair trial in Spain. It is clear that the Spanish justice system persecutes Catalan pro-independence supporters and, in farcical trials, inexorably condemns them as if they were violent terrorists, even though they have acted in a totally peaceful manner.

And the defencelessness is total because it is above all the judicial leadership that has this bias.

Something similar is happening with regard to spying with the Pegasus spyware programme. The organisation Citizen Lab has accredited cases of espionage in: Poland (three opposition politicians); Hungary (four journalists) and Spain (65 Catalan independence supporters, including seven lawyers!). But suddenly the Spanish President announced that he and some ministers had also been spied on a year ago with Pegasus, allegedly by Morocco. Why was he saying this now? And why was he taking on the shame of having been spied on? It seems clear that it was to try to cover up the spying on the pro-independence supporters.

And the EU has accepted it because, in the commission that will study the spying with Pegasus, only Poland and Hungary have been singled out, and this commission will travel to these two countries as well as Israel and the USA, but avoiding singling out and visiting Spain.

The EU should avoid imposing on itself the straitjacket of non-interference in relation to the abuse of Spanish justice. On the contrary, this supra-state justice is the only one that can stop an improper justice in the EU. It is improper because it wants to prevent, by abusive means, the legitimate aspiration of the Catalan people to decide their future.

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The Catalan exiles, led by President Carles Puigdemont, are fighting a legal battle in Europe for justice. Their victory will serve to end Francoism in Spain and this will strengthen all European citizens, whereas, if Francoism is allowed to continue in Spain, the whole of Europe will suffer for it.

Jordi Oriola Folch Barcelona, Catalonia

We are back to 300 years of disunion thanks to Westminster’s divide and rule tactics. The truth is that history has recorded what they’ve done. There is no legal argument or legitimacy in English government or sovereignty over three nations.

Glen Peters Paisley