Catalan MEPs report “democratic regression in Spain” and explain judicialisation of politics to the European Parliament
Spain’s use of the courts to block the pro-independence roadmap has been reported to the 751 members of the European Parliament by three Catalan MEPs. Josep Maria Terricabras and Ernest Maragall, from left wing pro-independence party (ERC), and Ramon Tremosa, representing the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) have sent a letter to their colleagues in the Eurochamber lamenting what they describe as “democratic regression in Spain”. The letter criticised the summonsing of Catalan elected representatives, such as Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, for “allowing a parliamentary debate on independence”. It also laments that former Catalan MP and current PDeCat spokesman in the Spanish Parliament, Frances Homs, faces trial for co-organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014.
Strasbourg (CNA).- Catalan MEPs from left wing pro-independence party (ERC) Josep Maria Terricabras and Ernest Maragall, and Ramon Tremosa, representing the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) sent a letter to the 751 members of the European Parliament explaining Spain’s judicialisation of politics. Under the title “Democratic regression in Spain”, the document itemises “some information on political trials against Catalan pro-independence politicians in Spain promoted by the PP Spanish Government” who, the letter nuances, was “only voted for by 11 of the 47 Catalan MPs in the Spanish Parliament”. Terricabras, Maragall and Tremosa criticise the summonsing of Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, for “allowing a parliamentary debate on independence” and also report the “secret” debate which “held behind closed doors” which allowed the case against former Catalan Minister Francesc Homs for co-organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014 to proceed. An episode which is described in the letter as “a shameful moment for Spanish democracy”.
The letter highlights some of the events related to Spain’s use of the courts to block the pro-independence roadmap which have taken place this week. “On Monday, the Spanish judiciary confirmed the suspension of Judge Santi Vidal” for having prepared a draft of a theoretical Catalan Constitution, “following his undeniable right to freedom of expression”, the letter reports and emphasises that the head of the Spanish Constitutional Court is a former member of [the Conservative governing party] PP”.
One day after, the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, received a notification telling her to declare in court on the 16th of December. “Her crime”, continues the letter, was “allowing a parliamentary debate on independence” on the 27th of July and warns that the prosecutor calls for banning Forcadell from public office.
Also on Tuesday, former Catalan MP and current PDeCat spokesman in the Spanish Parliament, Frances Homs “was stripped of his immunity” by the Spanish Chamber with the votes of PP, Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ and “and will be brought to court”. The MEPs emphasise that any “debate was secret and held behind closed doors, even though Homs asked to make it public” and consider this “a shameful moment for Spanish democracy”. The signers lament that Homs’ “crime” was “to help in organising a nonbinding, participatory consultation on independence” on the 9th of November 2014 in which “2.3 million people freely participated”.
Finally, the document points out that all these events come “after revelations that the Spanish Minister for Home Affairs has been making up information and manipulating the judicial system to attack pro-independence politicians”
A situation which “wouldn’t be allowed in any civilised country”
In an interview with the CNA, PDeCAT MEP, Ramon Tremosa lamented that if these trials were taking place in Poland or Hungary “there would probably be major headlines in the newspapers and claims of democratic regression”. “However, as it is happening in Spain, and it is the PP who is carrying it out, nobody says anything”, he stated.
“95% of people whom I talk to don’t understand at all why Catalans are not allowed to vote”, stated ERC MEP, Josep Maria Terricabras. He pointed out that the situation which Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, former judge and current member of Spanish Senate, Santiago Vidal and PDeCat spokesman in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, are facing proves “the prosecution of freedom of speech”. “It wouldn’t be allowed in any civilised country”, he lamented.
The letter was also sent to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to all the European Commission’s members and to the European Parliament’s President, Martin Schulz. The letter sent to the MEPs has been made extensive to all those Catalan MEPs in the Euro Chamber who support Catalonia’s right to decide its own political future, although it has only been signed by those MEPs from governing cross-party list in Catalonia ‘Junts Pel Sí’.