Heraclitus argued that you could not step twice into the same river. Spanish and German authorities are working hard to prove the philosopher wrong. In 1940, Catalan President-in-exile, Lluis Companys, was traveling in Europe. He wanted to stay in Paris because his son was there in the hospital. German authorities caught him and extradited him to Spain where he was executed.
It's 2018 and Carles Puigdemont, the 130th President of Catalonia and Catalans' top leader right now, was de facto expelled from his country by the Spanish occupation forces – which were clearly unaffected by the fascists' loss in 1945.
He traveled from Finland to Belgium – through Denmark and Germany. Spanish crouts have charged him with sedition, rebellion, disobedience, heresy, and blasphemy – up to 40 years in prison – and maybe even political incorrectness – 400 years in prison. All countries could have caught him but it just happens that it was the Gestapo (or Stasi or what is the exact name they are using these days) once again that did it. Is it a coincidence? I don't think so. There's some clear pattern of behavior that couldn't have been eliminated by Adolf Hitler's suicide. Several larger, "ambitious" nations like that simply don't want to allow any analogous sovereignty to smaller ones – and they often team up and use very brutal tools to make sure that they control the neighbors.
What is particularly shocking is a comparison of the vigor with which Puigdemont was arrested today; and the complete indifference with which hardcore criminals such as Anis Amri, the Christmas 2016 Berlin truck killer, were ignored. And be sure that Anis Amri is just a major example – there have been tons of similar, less famous examples.
Seconds after Puigdemont's car crossed the Danish-German border, the Department of the Gestapo for Superhighways arrested him because as a democratically elected leader, he dared to defend a point that every sane European is aware of: Catalans are a different nation than the Spaniards and most of the people in the province of the same name want and deserve independence. Even cops who should check the drivers' speed were included into this operation.
Compare it with Anis Amri. He stole car in Tunisia and was convicted when he was already in Europe. In Italy, he spent 4 years in 6 prisons for various robberies. Once in Germany, he was selling drugs in a notorious park, using 4-12 different identities at various points, visiting famous Islamic terrorists and radical preachers, and many other things. The authorities were basically aware of all these things but they thought it was fine. Before Christmas 2016, he stole a Polish truck and killed 11 people. On the scene, he left his own passport and said "Allahu Akbar" and "Auf Wiedersehen". Germans didn't want to violate the privacy of this Übermensch so they have ignored the passport for two days and allowed the mass killer to enjoy his favorite places in Berlin – after the terrorist attack. The cops on the superhighways were waving his hands to greet the Übermensch. Only when he crossed to Italy, the Italian cops had the decency to ask him to show his documents and shoot him dead.
German politicians and those in the EU may sometimes claim that their country is democratic and cares about freedom, human rights, and European values. But one shouldn't care whether they talk the talk; what matters is whether they walk the walk. And their acts speak a clear language. Contemporary Germany is eager to encourage people such as the Islamic mass killers and attack those who point out that Islam doesn't belong to Europe; but the right of self-determination for a civilized European nation through their democratically and peacefully elected leader is exactly the kind of a threat that they're most terrified by, and they won't hesitate to build new gas chambers in order to fight against these actual European values.
I hope that the German court will at least free Puigdemont now, to show that Heraclitus was at least partially right. But I have some doubts. Republicanism was partly imposed on Germany after the country lost in 1918. 15 years later, Hitler restored a full-blown empire. After 1945 or 1949, democracy was also sort of imposed on (West) Germany by others. And Germany may be willing to openly end the democratic post-war era.