The EU ‘will have to stop looking the other way’ about Catalonia

Article published by Vilaweb, and Catalan News Agency, 3rd September 2016

‘It will need to recognise that there is a political problem that requires some decisions to be taken’, said the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont

The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, said in an interview with the CNA that the European Union will have to intervene in the Catalan conflict. ‘At some point, probably not now, the EU will have to stop looking the other way. It will need to recognise that there is a political problem that requires some decisions to be taken’ in Brussels, he stressed. Amid growing political tensions between Catalan and Spanish institutions over independence and threats of suspension or even prosecution against the Catalan Parliament President, Carme Forcadell, Puigdemont warned that political problems require ‘political solutions’.

According to the Catalan President, however, it is now ‘understandable’ for the EU to stay away from the Catalan issue and to describe it as an ‘internal matter’. ‘They do not want to create a conflict between member states’, he pointed out, adding that this will change in the future if someone formally asks the EU to intervene. ‘Then the EU will not be able to refrain from’ answering, he said.

The Catalan Parliament President, Carme Forcadell, could be suspended from office and even criminally charged for allowing a vote about the independence roadmap. Specifically, Parliament voted and passed the conclusions of the Committee to Study the Constitutive Process, a group responsible for designing Catalonia’s strategy towards independence. The conclusions report was ‘suspended’ in August by the Spanish Constitutional Court for violating the Spanish Constitution and actions could be now taken against Forcadell.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said to the CNA that prosecuting the President of the Catalan Parliament would be ‘outrageous’. ‘I hope they do not (criminally charge her) because we are talking about a political issue that needs to be solved politically, and only politically it will be solved’, he stressed. But warned: ‘They are capable of doing anything, because they have lost their grip on Catalonia’. Puigdemont said it would be a ‘huge mistake’ to criminally charge the President of a democratically-elected parliament for allowing a vote on the conclusions of a committee. ‘It would not look good abroad’, he stated. Puigdemont did not close the door to bringing the case to European courts if needed.

Spain’s political deadlock

Read the full article here.

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