Scottish Foreign Affairs Minister: massive demonstration in Barcelona “was a real proof of the people’s power”

Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Scottish Government asks for the recognition of the right to self-determination for Catalonia and Scotland. In an interview with CNA, she claims for this right “recognised by the United Nations”.

CNA / Laura Pous

November 2, 2010 11:17 PM

Perth, Scotland (ACN).- The Scottish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, believes Scotland and Catalonia should have the right to decide on their own future. In an interview with CNA, Hyslop talked about the citizen demonstration held in Barcelona on the 10th of July that congregated between 1.1 and 1.5 million people (according to police and organisers, respectively). “Having a million people demonstrating for independence is a very strong message” she stated. Hyslop considered this massive civic claim to be “a real demonstration of the people’s power”. The Minister said that “Catalans should have the opportunity to decide their future in a referendum” for “the rest of the world to see that they want their own freedom”. She thinks that politicians and governments “cannot stop people from deciding their future”.

“It is very important that politicians and people from all over the world recognise the right for self-determination and the peoples’ opportunity to vote in a referendum”, Hyslop argued. She is the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Government headed by Alex Salmond, from the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP). Hyslop thinks that large states such as the United Kingdom or Spain cannot stop Scotland or Catalonia’s will to become independent states. “The United Nations have always recognised the right to self-determination of peoples”, stresses Hyslop.

Hyslop represented the UK in a European Council meeting last April in Barcelona because the UK Minister left his seat to her. Hyslop knows the relationship between Spain and Catalonia well. “I saw that, despite that the meeting was held in Catalonia, the Catalan Minister for Culture was not able to attend the European round table, as I did”, explains Hyslop. “I share the frustration of the Autonomous Communities, nations and regions that need to have their voice at the main European discussion table”, she added.

The Scottish Minister for Foreign Affairs says that the UK would be incapable of stopping a referendum for Scotland’s independence if a majority of citizens want one. According to Hyslop, “politically speaking, it would be extremely dangerous for London” to deny the right to decide. “The idea that people can reach independence with totally democratic and civic means, which do not require the use of any kind of violence, is extremely important”, explains Hyslop. For the Foreign Affairs Minister, this is extremely important not only for the UK, Scotland, or Spain, but for international relations and the world in general.