Thursday, 09 February 2017

MEPs from all parties consider 9-N trial “counterproductive” and call for "political” solution


Brussels (CNA).- The judicialisation of the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014, which has brought former Catalan President Artur Mas amongst other members of the Government before the court, has not gone unnoticed in Europe.MEPs from all parties lamented Spain’s judicial response to a political problem and called for dialogue and negotiation instead. “Europe can give good solutions” by standing “on the side of peace, dialogue and negotiation”, EPP MEP Csaba Sógor pointed out. ECR MEP Mark Demesmaeker also called for a “reaction” from the EU. The 27 Member States forget that the citizens of Catalonia have the right to decide about their own political future”. In a similar sense, GUE MEP Marisa Matias, bid for “creating a legal solution” so that Catalans can “decide whether they want to be independent or not”. According to Ana Gomes, from the Socialists and Democrats, Spain’s response to Catalonia’s political aspirations “doesn't dissuade pro-independence supporters, it does rather the contrary”.

Call for dialogue rather than using the court

“A political issue should be solved in a political way, in a democratic way, through dialogue and not by sending politicians to court because you don’t like their opinion” ECR MEP Mark Demesmaeker told the CNA. In a similar sense,GUE MEP Marisa Matias considered it “not right to put somebody on trial for putting out the ballot boxes”. “It is not fair to respond to a political problem through the court”, she added. S&D MEP Ana Gomes stated that the 9-N trial “should have never happened” and pointed that “this judicialisation of a political problem” has not “dissuaded pro-independence supporters, rather the contrary”.

“I hope that everything will be better than it looks today. Mas was democratically elected and he is a very important person for Catalonia, Spain and Europe”, ALDE MEP Ivan Jakovcic told the CNA. “I hope there will be reasonable dialogue between the central government in Madrid and the Government in Barcelona”, he added.

EU can offer good solutions

EPP MEP Csaba Sógor emphasised the EU’s decisive role in “solving the problem”. “Europe can help with the good experiences and also with the bad ones”, he said, and named Kosovo as an example. “Sometimes it is not possible to live together and then the new agreements should be respected”, he added.

According to Sógor, it is not for Europe to be on one or side or another but “on the side of peace, dialogue and negotiation”.

“Spain is stepping away from the EU values more and more and I don’t understand why the EU institutions are so silent about it”, lamented Demesmaeker and emphasised that “the EU was founded on democratic values and the respect for the rule of law”. The N-VA MEP, if one of the Member States is not complying with these principles, “the other 27 should react; but they don’t”. “They forget that the citizens of Catalonia have the right to decide about their own political future. If they don’t respect that principle, the EU will lose more and more support”, he forecast.

The need to hold a referendum

“If there is not a legal solution which would allow Catalans to decide about their autonomy then it will have to be created”, GUE MEP Marisa Matias told the CNA. “It is necessary to hold a referendum for Catalans to decide whether they want to be independent or not”.

Sógor remembered that the region of Székely in Romania “held a similar referendum” but in that case “there were no prosecutions”. “Any referendum is welcome, it is a warning to the majority that something is wrong in the country”. A situation which according to Sógor “should be discussed and should be solved”.

  • Sogor_MEP

  • EPP MEP Csaba Sógor interviewed by the CNA (by ACN)