Spain 'challenging fundamental rights,' says foreign minister in EU regions meeting
Alfred Bosch asks how Brussels can be "so strict with those applying to enter the Union, and not so strict with member states"
The Catalan foreign minister, Alfred Bosch, has denounced that Spain has crossed "too many red lines" over fundamental rights during a speech in a session of EU's Committee of the Regions.
"Fundamental rights are being challenged all across Europe," he said. "Democracy, human rights, dialogue…they are all being challenged, and yes, also in the Kingdom of Spain."
Bosch asked the EU regions’ body members whether they saw "the police crackdown on peaceful voters on October 1, 2017, in Catalonia."
"Did you see a government, like yours, being suspended, and direct rule being imposed?" he also asked.
The foreign minister also referred to the Catalan political leaders in jail, as well as artists prosecuted in Spain.
Criticism to EU
Bosch also criticized the European institutions over their reaction to the Catalan crisis.
"Step into our shoes, we’re asking you to feel what we feel"
Alfred Bosch · Catalan foreign minister
"How can we be so strict with those applying to enter the Union, and so not strict with member states? We are giving the wrong message," stated Catalonia's government member.
While reminding the audience that "the Council of Europe is following up on this," he asked the members of the Committee of Regions whether they feel they can "can remain silent."
"Step into our shoes, we’re asking you to feel what we feel."
Commission VP: independence movement has "no right to violate Constitution"
The European Commission's vice president, Frans Timmermans, responded to Bosch in the same debate, saying that the pro-independence movement "has no right to violate the Constitution."
He also asked for the current stalemate to be solved through "dialogue within the Spanish Constitution framework."