We look back and follow up on some of 2017’s most memorable and news-making interviews from around the world. Catalonia elections: how will the silent majority vote? If independence movements are given a legal path and engaged in negotiations, secession is much less likely to happen. Highly-anticipated regional elections, aimed at resolving separatist crisis, could have EU-wide implications. Will Catalonia’s election end its separatist crisis?

Catalonia will vote in snap elections on Thursday in a bid to end its separatist crisis. Where does the region stand? Catalans head to the polls on Thursday for a vote that could decide if their province breaks away from Spain. Who will Catalans vote for? Spain’s prime minister calls for a return to normality in Catalonia as the region prepares yet again to vote. Politicians in Catalonia are holding final rallies before the election on Thursday.

Polls show next week’s regional election in Catalonia is likely to leave its political crisis unresolved. The shepherds of Spain’s Pyrenees have their own language, culture and concerns. They spoke to Al Jazeera about their views on Catalonia and Catalan independence. The international arrest warrant for the former president of Catalonia has been withdrawn. He is currently in Belgium. Sacked Catalan leader and four former ministers no longer face arrest in Belgium, but could be held in Spain on return.

Judge rules there was a risk of criminal reiteration, though admits there was little prospect of the defendants fleeing. Spanish far right has united to stop Catalonia from gaining independence, causing an increase in political violence. The December 21 comes amid deepening polarisation in Catalonia and could additionally exacerbate the situation. After Brexit and Catalonia, what will become of the EU? The EU’s likely future is an imperial neoliberal superstate. But there is also an alternative.

A Belgian judge says imprisoning dismissed Catalan leaders would cause ‘irreparable harm’, according to legal documents. All the latest updates as Catalan parliament declares independence and Spain approves direct rule over the region. Friday, October 27 in defiance of the central government in Madrid. Juncker calls on Europe to reject separatist ‘poison’. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday called on Europe to stand up against separatism. Nationalisms are a poison that prevent Europe from working together», said Juncker in a speech at a university Spanish city of Salamanca.

Spanish Supreme Court frees Carmen Forcadell on bail. A Spanish judge on Thursday freed on bail the Catalan parliament’s speaker and four lawmakers while authorities continue to investigate their roles in Catalonia’s banned independence drive. Spain annuls Catalan declaration of independence. Spain’s Constitutional Court officially annulled the Catalan parliament’s unilateral declaration of independence. No Belgian ‘crisis’ over deposed Catalan leader. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel on Wednesday denied his government was in «crisis» over the arrival of Carles Puigdemont. I will watch to make sure there is no interference in the independence of the courts, the Belgian government will ensure the greatest respect of the rule of law.

Rajoy, the Spanish premier, tweeted: «I agree absolutely with PM Charles Michel who is my sole interlocutor in Belgium: we must respect the rule of law. On Tuesday, Carles Puigdemont said that the EU «cannot have an entire government in prison or in exile. In an interview with Catalan public radio, broadcasted from Brussels, he also stated that the EU «cannot have political prisoners or a  legitimate parliament dissolved via a Spanish government decree». After being released without bail in Brussels, Carles Puigdemont and three members of his ousted government condemned Spain’s legal proceedings. Belgium, they release us without bail, while in Spain we would be in prison. Carles Puigdemont and four associates turned themselves in to Belgian police on Sunday, following Spain’s issuing of an arrest warrant for rebellion and sedition. Judge Carmen Lamela issued the order on the grounds that it was public knowledge that Puigdemont is in Belgium. It also names the four other ex-ministers who accompany Puigdemont in Brussels. Barcelona’s city council issued a declaration calling for the immediate release of the Catalan politicians along with Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez, two pro-independence organisers jailed since October 16. The declaration was signed by parties from across the political spectrum. The Spanish judge in charge of processing charges against Catalan secessionist leaders will not issue a European arrest warrant for Puigdemont until at least Friday, according to a court source.