Illiberalism in Eastern Europe is now being surpassed by Militarised Liberalism in the West – see Spain and France. This is the greater threat to democracy in Europe. Faced with criticism of its decision to put 12 Catalan leaders on trial for rebellion and sedition, with nine held in preventative detention for over a year, the Spanish government’s response is to insist it is sticking to the letter of the law, that this is now a matter for the courts and the country’s judiciary are independent and should be left to do their job.

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