Spanish charge unworthy of an EU member state

16 December 2016
Spanish charge unworthy of an EU member state

The Speaker of the Parliament of Catalonia, Carme Forcadell, has had to appear before a Spanish court to answer accusations of ‘administrative disobedience’. On 27 July, Forcadell allowed a debate to take place on a binding referendum on independence, based on the model of the Scottish referendum. She now risks a fine for that, as well as possibly being barred from holding public office. European Parliament member Mark Demesmaeker is indignant: “Political conflicts should not be solved in court. This politically inspired charge is a disgrace for Spanish democracy and unworthy of an EU member state.”

“It is unthinkable for an EU member state to prosecute one of its parliament speakers because she has facilitated a democratic debate. And yet in Spain that very thing appears to be happening,” Mark Demesmaeker confirms. “This trial is an assault on the sovereignty of the democratically elected Parliament of Catalonia and sets a dangerous precedent. It is for that reason that I join the international protest. Organising a democratic debate can never be a crime. Every people has the right to decide upon their own future.”

Unreasonable and undemocratic

Mark Demesmaeker finds Madrid’s suppression of Catalan’s aspirations for independence by any means necessary and its avoidance of any deliberation, ill-advised. “The Spanish state elects to evade dialogue and seeks confrontation by criminalising Catalan institutions and their representatives. The aspiration for an independent Catalonia will only increase if the Spanish state continues to take such an unreasonable and undemocratic approach,” he concludes.

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