"Unacceptable" says Catalan President about Spain’s use of favors to force international opposition
Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, responded angrily to the confirmation from former Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García Margallo that the Spanish Government had pressured other governments to give statements against Catalonia’s pro-independence process. “It’s unacceptable,” he said and called for Margallo to explain which commitments he made, under whose authority and “what favors Spain owes” in exchange for these position statements. According to Puigdemont, Margallo’s confession proves the Catalan Government’s claims that the Spanish State “is doing everything in its power” so that Catalan representatives “are not received, listened to, or taken into account”. “I hope that the Spanish political system is democratically mature enough to demand an explanation from Mr. Margallo in Parliamentary session,” he added.
Barcelona (CNA).- Former Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García Margallo’s confirmation that the Spanish Government pressured other governments to give statements against Catalonia’s pro-independence process have outraged the Catalan Government. This confession, according to Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, proves that the Spanish State “is doing everything in its power” so that Catalan representatives “are not received, listened to, or taken into account”. Puigdemont considered the actions “unacceptable” and called for Margallo to give explanations before the Spanish Parliament. In a similar sense, Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, pointed to “Spain’s fragile democracy and lack of separation of powers”. “Margallo has admitted to seeking alliances for the express purpose of avoiding the exercise of democracy and keeping us from voting,” he stated.
“Nobody knows all the favors we owe in exchange for the statements we got,” said Margallo this Wednesday in an interview on Spanish TV. According to Margallo, the normal procedure when a public representative is asked about such a question is to demur, saying it is an “internal matter”.
Puigdemont considered such actions to be “unacceptable” and “very serious”. “He should explain what public resources he has used. Under what authority? What commitments has he made? What favors does Spain owe?” he asked rhetorically of Margallo. He also lamented that the former Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs “took advantage of his position with respect to Catalans too” since they are also Spanish citizens. “Do the countries that he mentioned have any intention of making a statement? Will the Vatican make a statement? Will the Baltic States make statements?” he asked.
Puigdemont also insisted on the need for Margallo to appear before the Spanish Parliament and give explanations. “Out of basic decency, I think that would be the minimum required,” he said and called for setting up an investigating committee, and if necessary, “bringing the case to the Prosecutor because this person used public resources improperly, inappropriately, and he should have to explain his actions.”
Since the Spanish Government has not denied Margallo’s comments, the Catalan President also expressed his concerns regarding the current executive. “Those who continue in Mr. Margallo's office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are those that have to pay back the favors that Mr. Margallo said he asked for and that he owes”.
A confession which confirms the Government’s claims
According to Puigdemont, Margallo’s statements prove that the Spanish State “is doing everything in its power” so that Catalan representatives “are not received, listened to, or taken into account,” he said. “Now it is the Minister himself who has confessed, ignominiously, that he has done everything he could so that we Catalans could not explain ourselves to the world,” he continued. However, he insisted that Catalan diplomacy will continue to communicate with other countries, because despite all the pressures and favors, “there is interest”. “We won't hold back at all,” he insisted.
Romeva: Margallo’s statements prove the failure of the Spanish State
Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, also commented on Margallo’s controversial statements. According to Romeva, the Catalan Government has been “well aware of this strategy for a long time” but Margallo’s statements “just made it explicit”. “This reveals that the Spanish State has acted intensively and aggressively to deny Catalonia’s right for self-determination, which is a democratic principle,” he said in an interview with the Catalan online newspaper Vilaweb. According to Romeva, the situation “reinforces our commitment to explain that this is a democratic conflict”. “Margallo admitted to seeking alliances with the sole purpose of avoiding the exercise of democracy and keeping us from voting,” he added.
Regarding the consequences that Margallo’s statements may have, Romeva admitted having little faith in the responsibilities that former Spain’s Minister will have to assume. “Of course it should have consequences, but other explicit actions have involved public representatives with crimes and illegalities and have remained unpunished,” he lamented. “The problem is the Spanish State’s fragile democracy and its lack of separation of powers,” he added.