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Brussels on blocked pro-indy websites: “Judges have ordered this”

EC spokesman refuses to link these measures to freedom of speech violations, rejecting comparisons "to Turkey"

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26 September 2017 02:35 PM

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ACN | Brussels

The European Commission has nothing to say after Spain blocked several pro-independence websites. The domains blocked include the webpage of one of the biggest 'yes' campaigners, the Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC). According to Brussels, the measures are "legal” as per Spanish constitutional framework, and they do not raise concerns of violations of freedom of speech or of opinion. 

"We respect the legal order and the constitutional framework within which all these measures have been taken," said on Tuesday the EC chief spokesman, Margaritis Schinas. "What is happening is according to the law, there are judges that have ordered this," he added, when pressed by journalists to comment on the issue. "These are measures taken in a specific context and the EC has no competences or say on what is happening under the constitution or legal order of member states," he insisted.

Schinas went on to say to journalists that they "might not be happy" with his answers, but that the Commission needs to "stick" to what it has been doing "for years", i.e. not interfering in "internal affairs."

  • "We respect the legal order and the constitutional framework within which all these measures have been taken"

    Margaritis Schinas · EC spokesman

But journalists were really not satisfied. "How would it be possible then to question the media situation in a country like Turkey? There, as well, there are judges issuing orders to shut down media, isn't this the same?" "You're free to draw your own interpretations," replied Schinas.

Other journalists criticized the "double standards" of the European Commission, which feels comfortable, they said, commenting on violations of human rights or freedom of the press in Cambodia, Hungary or Poland, but not in Spain.

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  • European Commission spokesperson, Margaritis Schinas (by EBS)

  • European Commission spokesperson, Margaritis Schinas (by EBS)