Friday

28th Jul 2017

Catalan MEPs ask for EU help against Spanish army

  • Barcelona - the MEPs' letter met with ridicule (Photo: vgm8383)

Four Catalan MEPs have asked the European Commission to tell Spain it cannot use military force to stop Catalonia from splitting away.

The deputies - centre-left MEP Maria Badia, Greens Ana Miranda and Raul Romeva i Rueda and Liberal Ramon Tremosa - wrote to EU justice commissioner Vivianne Reding on 22 October.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The letter says: "We are writing to you to convey our deep concern over a series of threats of the use of military force against the Catalan population ... In these circumstances, the European Union should intervene preventatively to guarantee that the resolution of the Catalan conflict be resolved in a peaceful, democratic manner."

It notes that politicians from the centre-right People's Party of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy have spoken of article 8 of Spain's constitution, which says the army can be used to protect Spanish sovereignty.

It adds the commission should: "Make a public statement insisting on the withdrawal from the public debate of any military threat or use of force as a way of resolving this political conflict."

The letter met with ridicule in Madrid.

Rosa Diez from the centrist Union, Progress and Democracy Party called it an "insult" to Spanish democracy.

Opposition Socialist Party leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said it "does not bear any relation to reality."

But for his part, Spanish centre-right MEP Alejo Vidal-Quadras told Spanish TV just two weeks ago: "They [the government] should be briefing a general of the Civil Guard ... the government should think of intervening in the rebellious region if they persist."

The Civil Guard, a gendarmerie, still has a bad name after it staged a failed coup in 1981.

The MEPs' appeal to Reding comes ahead of snap elections in Catalonia in November.

Local leader Artur Mas has said he will hold a referendum on secession in 2014 if he wins. In a sign of how it might go, 1 million Catalans last month called for independence in a rally in Barcelona.

Meanwhile, the Spanish debate is spilling over to the UK.

Spanish foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo y Marfil told parliament in Madrid on Tuesday that if Scotland - which is to hold a referendum on secession also in 2014 - gains independence it might get left out of the EU.

"In the hypothetical case of independence, Scotland would have to join the queue and ask to be admitted, needing the unanimous approval of all member states to obtain the status of a candidate country ... and to sign the final treaty," he said.

Scottish nationalist leader Alexander Salmond earlier this year told the BBC that Scottish law lords had confirmed it would get automatic EU entry.

But on Tuesday, his own deputy leader, Nicola Sturgeon, said he had merely filed an application for legal advice.

"It appears the first minister [Salmond] is a liar," Scottish centre-left opposition MP Paul Martin said.

Catalan separatist looks to crisis with hope

It is often said that on the long and winding road to European union, it takes a crisis to move ahead. Now the same may be true for regional independence. "Independentism has become a cross-cutting movement."

Catalan region renews call for independence

One and a half million people gathered in Barcelona on Tuesday demanding independence from Spain. It was the biggest self-rule rally ever in Catalonia.

All eyes on Catalan election

Catalans will cast their vote for a new regional assembly on Sunday in an election that could have considerable consequences for Catalonia and the rest of Spain.

Investigation

Inside the Code of Conduct, the EU's most secretive group

The informal group of national officials that is in charge of checking EU countries' tax laws is now working on the first EU blacklist of tax havens, amid critiques over its lack of transparency and accountability.

News in Brief

  1. Werner Hoyer re-appointed as EU investment bank chief
  2. Spanish PM denies knowledge of party corruption
  3. France 'routinely' abuses migrants, says NGO
  4. Swedish government rocked by data scandal
  5. Member states relocate 3,000 migrants in June
  6. Top EU jurist says Malta's finch-trapping against EU law
  7. EU judges rule to keep Hamas funds frozen
  8. EU court rejects passenger data deal with Canada

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  2. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  3. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  5. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  6. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  7. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  9. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  10. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  11. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  12. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Ep. 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug

Latest News

  1. Corbyn re-opens Labour's single market wound
  2. Visegrad lobby makes food quality an EU issue
  3. EU court could dismiss national borders in cyberspace
  4. Confusion swirls around Macron's Libya 'hotspots'
  5. Insults fly after EU ultimatum to Poland
  6. UK requests EU migration study, 13 months after Brexit vote
  7. EU defends airline data-sharing after court ruling
  8. Stop blaming Trump for Poland’s democratic crisis