>> A European arrest warrant for Catalonia's former president looks ever more likely. Spain's State Prosecutor requesting one for Carles Puigdemont, after he failed to turn up at a high court hearing Thursday. He's charged with rebellion, sedition, and misuse of public funds, and is now in Belgium with four members of his cabinet.
Madrid sacked Puigdemont and his government for declaring independence on Friday. 15 Catalan leaders showing up in court Thursday, all but one refusing to answer questions on their role in an illegal October referendum on secession. Nine have been remanded in custody, pending an investigation. Thousands have taken to the streets of Barcelona in recent weeks, demonstrating both for and against breaking away from Spain.
Madrid has called a snap election for the autonomous region in December. An arrest warrant will make it pretty much impossible for Puigdemont to stand, says Reuter's Julien Toyer.>> Having now this court order for an arrest and the other secessionist leaders being jailed, could just prompt people to take to the streets again, and back the independence movement.
It could also be a further hit for the movement, because obviously now the leaders of this session would find it very hard to stand in the December election.>> And there are some signs of support for secession waning.>> Many people believe there was a lot of improvisation over the weekend in the independence camp.
They had not foreseen Mariano Rajoy calling for election at such a speed, and they needed about 48 hours to actually decide on a new strategy. The departure of Puigdemont and four of the sacked cabinet members has puzzled a lot of people, bemused a lot of people. We spoke earlier today to some usually pro-independence reporters saying, well actually, if you declare independence, the best thing to do is to stay with your people.
>> This demonstrations in support of the pro-independence leaders Thursday, failing to attract the crowds expected. As the crisis wears on, Catalonia stands divided and deeply resented by the rest of Spain.