Jordi Solé (MEP): ‘We won't ask Brussels for permission to have our referendum’
Member of European Parliament says EU should only "get involved" in Catalonia to help "implement" referendum result
Catalan MEP Jordi Solé, from the Greens-EFA group in the European Parliament, says Catalonia does not need EU "permission" to organize an independence referendum on October 1. "We won't ask permission from Brussels or the EU to have our referendum because we don't want to ask for permission to implement our basic rights and freedoms," he said in an interview with Catalan News.
Solé said that there is a "genuine democratic demand behind the movement towards independence in Catalonia" that politicians in Brussels can actually understand. "They realize that political demands such as the Catalan one have to be managed politically," he added, regretting the Spanish government attitude. "They have refused to engage in solving the situation," he said.
The MEP explained that the EU should probably "get involved" in the Catalan situation after the vote in order to help make the result a reality. "The involvement of the EU, especially after October 1, will be clear, and probably EU institutions, member states and the European Commission will have to get involved. Not in the result as such, but in how it is implemented," he explained.
"Catalonia is a European country. We are part of the EU. What is happening in Catalonia happens in the EU"
Jordi Solé · MEP (Greens-EFA)
"Catalonia is a European country. We are part of the EU. What is happening in Catalonia happens in the EU," insisted Solé. According to him, if Catalans decide on October 1 that they want to become an independent country, "this will affect part of the territory and citizenship of the EU."
Solé, who is also mayor of a medium-sized Catalan town, criticized local councillors refusing to help in the organization of the secessionist vote. "I do not understand mayors that say they will not collaborate in such a genuine democratic exercise as letting the people vote," he said during the interview.
The MEP and mayor added he was "confident" voters in towns such as Barcelona and Lleida will be able to vote, even if some "alternative" polling stations have to be found. The mayor of Lleida, Àngel Ros, from the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) refuses to involve the city in the vote, while the role to be played by Barcelona's mayor, former housing activist Ada Colau, is still unclear.
According to Solé, while talking about Barcelona council, "it is very difficult to imagine that a government that considers itself to be one of 'progress', 'change' and 'transformation'…could block or do not support the most important moment of change in the country."