European Parliament rejects Catalan referendum debate in next plenary session

EPP and S&D groups veto proposal from Greens to discuss October 1 vote so as not “to legitimize an illegal referendum”

Image of the European Parliament (by ACN)
Image of the European Parliament (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 29, 2017 03:53 PM

The European Parliament has rejected including the October 1 referendum on the agenda for its next plenary session, to be held next week in Strasbourg. The EPP and S&D groups voted against the initiative presented by the leader of the Greens/EFA, Philippe Lamberts. The European United Left (GUE), which includes left-wing parties, such as Podemos or Syriza, and the European Conservatives and Reformists voted in favor of the Green’s proposal. However, the liberals, the European group that includes the party of the current Catalan government, PDeCAT, abstained.

In fact, the leaders of the Greens/EFA and GUE groups recently sent a letter to the European Commission calling on it to intervene in the Catalan situation. The letter asked the European Commission to mediate and reopen political dialogue between the Catalan and Spanish governments. The letter also criticized Spain’s actions aimed at blocking the October 1 referendum, and accused the Spanish government of violating European fundamental rights.

The Green’s press officer, David Weir, stressed that they are "completely in favor of the debate.” "We believe that trying to solve the problem by legal means will not solve the political situation,” he said. The GUE’s press officer also criticized Spain’s actions to prevent the referendum. “We condemn the way in which Catalan politicians have been treated by the Spanish government," said Nikki Sullings, the GUE’s press officer.