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European Commission refuses to comment on terrorism accusations against Catalan activist

“The last time we checked, Spain is a democracy,” says EC spokesperson Margaritis Schinas


10 April 2018 02:13 PM


ACN | Brussels

The chief spokesperson for the European Commission (EC), Margaritis Schinas, has refused to comment on the detention of pro-independence activists on Tuesday morning. A total of seven people were arrested by Spain’s Guardia Civil and the Catalan police, one of whom was accused with rebellion and terrorism. The rest, accused of crimes of public disorder and resisting the authorities, have been released.

When asked whether the EC considers the accusation of rebellion and terrorism to be proportionate, Schinas denied any knowledge of the events, and said it was not in the scope of his powers and refused to comment.

“I’m not aware of these developments, and the way you describe them, they are ongoing police or judicial proceedings for which the Commission has no competence or role to play, and henceforth we don’t have a comment,” he stated, replying to journalists’ questions.

He was asked up to four times by insistent reporters on what the EC’s stance was on the accusation of terrorism against the activists. A journalist asked him directly if cutting off roads could be considered as terrorism, while another asked if the accusation was proportionate. 

One correspondent reminded the spokesman that Turkey was demanded not “to use the accusation of terrorism” and yet in Spain “similar” accusations are not evaluated, but Schinas refused to go any deeper into the issue.

“I cannot offer anything additional,” the EC spokesman replied. “If you’re asking me to evaluate the Spanish judicial system, I’m very happy to say that the last time we checked Spain is a democracy,” he asserted.


  • Margaritis Schinas, EC spokesperson, during press conference on April 10 (by ACN)

  • Margaritis Schinas, EC spokesperson, during press conference on April 10 (by ACN)