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Schulz takes the scandal of the two versions of the Commission's answer "very seriously"

The European Parliament's President, Martin Schulz "shares" the Catalan MEPs’ concerns "about the accuracy of the answers to written questions". Schulz was referring to the two different versions, one in Spanish and one in English, of the answer sent by the Commission to PP MEP Santiago Fisas on Catalonia's unilateral declaration of independence. "I can assure you that I take this issue very seriously" he stated in a letter sent to the Catalan MEPs on Friday. Schulz assured that he is "fully aware of the sensitivity of this particular issue, especially in the period before the regional elections in Catalonia on 27 September". The Euro Parliament President also assured that the "Parliament's services asked the Commission's competent services to clarify the situation as a matter of urgency" and added that he welcomes the decision to investigate the scandal. "I look forward to being informed of its conclusions" he concluded. 

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30 October 2015 06:00 PM

by

ACN / Sara Prim

Brussels (CNA).- The European Parliament's president, Martin Schulz, expressed in a letter to Catalan MEPs his "concerns about the accuracy of the answers to written questions". Schulz was referring to the two different versions, one in Spanish and one in English, of the answer sent by the Commission to PP MEP Santiago Fisas on Catalonia's unilateral declaration of independence. "I am fully aware of the sensitivity of this particular issue, especially in the period before the regional elections in Catalonia on 27 September" emphasised Schulz and added that the "Parliament's services asked the Commission's competent services to clarify the situation as a matter of urgency". Schulz also stated that he "looks forward to being informed" of the internal investigation’s results.


Schulz was answering a petition from Catalan MEPs Ramon Tremosa, Ernest Maragall and Josep Maria Terricabras, all members of pro-independence list ‘Junts Pel Sí’, to investigate the scandal regarding the two different answers to a parliamentary question on Catalonia's unilateral declaration of independence. "I can assure you that I take this issue very seriously" he stated and added that he is "fully aware of the sensitivity of this particular issue, especially in the period before the regional elections in Catalonia on 27 September". Schulz admitted that he "shares" the MEPs’ concerns "about the accuracy of the answers to written questions" and welcomed the Commission's decision "to conduct an internal investigation into this incident". "I look forward to being informed of its conclusions" he stated.

Two different answers to the same question

Shortly before the Catalan elections of the 27-S, the People's Party (PP) MEP Santiago Fisas addressed a question to the European Commission regarding the consequences of a hypothetical Unilateral Declaration of Independence in Catalonia. The scandal arose when the two versions of the answers, one in Spanish and one in English, had a different content.

In the Spanish version, EC president Jean-Claude Juncker’s answer was: “The determination of the territory of a Member State is established by its National Constitution and not by an autonomous parliament’s decision contrary to that Constitution”. In English, the answer was less specific: “It is not for the Commission to express a position on questions of internal organisation related to the constitutional arrangements of a particular Member State”.

Catalan MEPs requested an investigation into the scandal

Although the Commission already expressed that the only valid answer was the English one, EC spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud admitted that the confusion was due to "a human mistake" in the translation.

Following this, Catalan MEPs Ramon Tremosa, Ernest Maragall and Josep Maria Terricabras, all members of pro-independence list ‘Junts Pel Sí’, urged the EC and its president Jean-Claude Juncker to “make a public statement opening a full and open investigation to clarify this political scandal”. “Such an investigation finding who manipulated the Spanish version of the answer should finish by Sunday to guarantee the neutrality of the elections results” they added in their joint letter.

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  • European Parliament's president, Martin Schulz, joined by Catalan MEPs Ernest Maragall, Ramon Tremosa, Francesc Gambús, Ernest Urtasun and Josep Maria Terricabras  (by ACN)

  • European Parliament's president, Martin Schulz, joined by Catalan MEPs Ernest Maragall, Ramon Tremosa, Francesc Gambús, Ernest Urtasun and Josep Maria Terricabras (by ACN)