Minister: Catalonia urges EU to intervene in the situation with the referendum

© AFP 2017 / Pau Wagebargaining rally in front of the Department of Economics of Catalonia in Barcelona. 20 September 2017Minister: Catalonia urges EU to intervene in the situation with the referendum© AFP 2017 / Pau Barrena

The government of Catalonia calls on the European institutions, the European Commission and the European Parliament to intervene in the situation around the organization of a referendum, to avoid breaking the Madrid democratic norms of the European Union, undermining, in their view, measures to ban the vote, said Minister of the Catalan government’s foreign Affairs and institutional relations Raul Romeva.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, he said that in Spain «disrupted democratic institutions,» noting that the government «pursue the mayors intimidating journalists and human rights defenders, individuals».

«This applies primarily to democratic standards and fundamental rights, what is happening today in Spain, it is a very serious violation of the norms of democratic institutions. We therefore call on the EU institutions, the EC and the EP in particular, to support the principles that underlie our treaties, in particular article 2,» said Romeu.

According to him, at stake are civil rights. «The EC cannot claim that this is a domestic issue. They must come to the defense of the Catalan citizens», stated the Catalan Minister.

According to him, «if they (EK and EP) do not, they can undermine the reputation of the institutions.» «There is a clear danger of double standards on issues such as freedom of speech,» — said the Minister.

He noted that the silence of the European authorities leads to «support for repressive actions».

Spain’s constitutional court had earlier suspended all documents regarding the vote for independence on October 1, generalities and adopted by the Catalan Parliament. Thus, all further actions of the Catalan authorities on the preparation of the referendum illegal. According to polls, the independence of Catalonia supports 41% of the population of the Autonomous community, 49% oppose. For a referendum on the status of the Autonomous community are 80% of Catalans, but most of them believe that voting should be coordinated with the Central authorities in Madrid. The vote, which the government of Catalonia is going to hold on October 1, according to 60% of Catalans, is not legitimate and may not have any legal consequences.