González Pons’ Schengen Rant

Today is a very sad day for European integration because today it’s become clear that the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) doesn’t work and so, in the circumstances, the Schengen Treaty is a risk for the countries in the Union. Today it became clear that if we have no confidence in one another, we can’t eliminate borders. We lifted the borders because we believed the others would trust in us, and if some delinquent escaped us they’d return him. If Spanish delinquents flee, or alleged delinquents flee, and our fellow European member states don’t return them, we must consider restoring the borders. The European Union consists of all countries trusting in each other, but if it turns out that some countries, or some judges in some countries, are prejudiced against ours and have no confidence in us, we should have sufficient dignity and sufficient pride to say we’re not playing this game. In the name ofthe Partido Popular of Spain, I demand that Mr Sánchez suspend the application of the Schengen Treaty in Spain, as have many countries in the European Union, until it’s clarified whether the EAW is useful or not. We are a country with as much importance and pride as any other and we should do the same as Germany would have done if someone had attempted an assault on their Constitution, had fled to Spain and Spain didn’t extradite him. Spain is just as important as Germany and we should suspend the Schengen Treaty, as Germany would, and decide whether or not it is fit for purpose.

González Pons symbolises the rabid idiocy of his party and Spain’s rancid right, the rambling illogic and the uncontrollable Spanish nationalist tic – paranoid, angry and hurt – outraged at the perceived slight, the disrespect, and trying to convince the Spanish that the world is laughing at their people, when nothing could be further from the truth. In president Puigdemont’s extradition proceedings by rejecting the offences of rebellion and sedition, but admitting that of misuse of public funds, the Schleswig-Holstein court has reached the only decision it could, forced as it was by so much media attention, to just stick to the law; the same law for all Europeans, as interpreted within the legal frameworks of its member states.

González Pons’ rant is risible, beginning as it does with his “sad day for European integration”: there have been much sadder days for most European member states. His implication that there is a dangerous criminal on the loose – the situation that the European Arrest Warrant was designed to address – must be bewilderingly hysterical to foreign observers. Also laughable is the moment when he remembers the concept of innocence until proven guilty. “If Spanish delinquents flee, or alleged delinquents flee,” he says.

Then there is the moment when he realises that he’s over-generalising.  “If it turns out that some countries, or some judges in some countries, are prejudiced against ours…” he seethes, hinting that the Germans, or some German judges, have made their rulings out of hispanophobia, the same hollow lament from Spain’s ruling class every time a decision goes against them. It’s not that they don’t trust the Spanish, it’s that judge Llarena’s work has been so incredibly poor. Admittedly, the task entrusted to the Supreme Court magistrate by, let’s say, the Spanish state was totally impossible: find violence, find tumult and find embezzlement.

Does the power in Spain seriously expect that what has always worked in this fucked-up country is going to work in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the UK? When Pons bleats about “dignity” and “pride”, he is totally unconscious that this seems to be precisely what Spain lacks as it repeatedly throws international hissy fits whenever things don’t go their way beyond their borders. Every time Spain threatens to turn in on itself, to turn its back on those countries that have maintained a loyal and ghostly silence of complicity throughout the Catalan crisis. And has he forgotten Spain’s dreadful attitude to the extradition requests for Belgian Nazi leader Leon Degrelle and Spain’s shameful role in harbouring Nazi fugitives until relatively recently? The Spanish selective memory.

How does it make Spain look? Like a capricious child having a temper tantrum when it doesn’t get what it wants for once. González Pons and his ilk embarrass the diverse Spanish people. They don’t represent the majority. The Spanish deserve more from the permatanned leader of the Spanish delegation in the EPP Group in the European parliament than the ravings of some hooligan on the streets of Spain screaming “Puigdemont, to the slammer”.

When he demands that Pedro Sánchez suspend the Schengen Treaty, is he suggesting Spain aligns itself with Europe’s other neofascist states – Hungary, Poland, Austria, Slovenia and Italy – in some new Axis? No. González Pons has no clue what he is saying, and it doesn’t matter anyway as his party is currently out of government and undergoing repairs. The Partido Popular and Ciudadanos for that matters are refreshingly irrelevant in Spanish politics at the moment, but sing from the same hymn sheet, as both parties’ reaction to the German court’s decision show.

Gónzalez Pons isn’t really annoyed because Spaniards have been insulted, he couldn’t give a flying fig for ordinary Spaniards. No, he’s mad because European judges don’t just take the rambling reasoning of judge Llarena at face value and do what he asks, something it is quite unreasonable to expect from any self-respecting foreign judge. He’s trying to whip up a bit of anti-European fervour by telling the average Spaniard that he or she has been insulted.

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