Article published by CNA on February 25th 2016.
Brussels (CNA).- The suspension of the Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs is “going to work against the aim of the Madrid government” and boost independence support, according to some foreign MEPs that have been following the political process in Catalonia. “It was just a kind of name change, not a legal change, but it has big emotional meaning for both sides”, said former Foreign Affairs Minister of Lithuania and now MEP Algirdas Saudargas. The President of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and also MEP Ian Hudghton said Scots are “fortunate” not to have “been treated in the way that Madrid seeks to treat Catalonia”. Flemish MEP Mark Demesmaeker argued that there is a “big contrast” between Spain and Belgium, while the Swedish Green MEP Bodil Valero defined as “very strange” the decision by the Spanish Constitutional Court to suspend the Catalan ministry.
Former Foreign Affairs Minister of Lithuania, Algirdas Saudargas, said that politics is “more based in emotions than legal structures”, and that naming Raül Romeva Foreign Affairs Minister raised eyebrows in Madrid because of the “emotional meaning” of the post. “It is a business to be discussed between Catalans and Spanish”, he added, pointing out he is not a “legal expert”. In Mr Saudargas’ point of view, however, if Catalans “feel as a nation and want to do more things and decide more things for themselves, they will do that sooner or later”.
The Lithuanian asked only for the relationship between Catalonia and Spain to be “solved in a peaceful and negotiated way”. “I believe the Catalan approach is peaceful, and I have nothing to suggest but for it to continue in a peaceful way”, he explained. Pointing out the stark “differences” between Lithuania, which was occupied by Soviet forces, and Catalonia, that is part of a democratic state, Mr Saudargas said he doesn’t believe that “there could be some assistance from outside” – only “recommendations” but nothing “decisive”.
Asked about the refusal of the Spanish government to discuss a referendum or independence, Mr Saudargas said that “not willing to talk is already a language”. “The world is changing, Europe is changing, one day the situation looks quite different from the previous day. If real determination is on the Catalan side, you will find a way”, he pointed out.
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