Spain

European Union Refuses Intervention in Catalan Independence

Oct. 13th, 2017

Jean-Claude Juncker at the EPP Forum in 2014. Photocredit: Wikicommons

Jean-Claude Juncker at the EPP Forum in 2014. Photocredit: Wikicommons

[Originally published in Barcelona Metropolitan on Oct. 13th, 2017]

The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said today that an intervention on the Catalan independence question “would create more chaos”, ruling out the possibility of the European Union’s intervention in the crisis between Catalunya and Spain. Juncker noted that an independent Catalunya would set a precedence for other independence movements in Europe. Juncker also noted that the EU, an intra-national governing body, cannot intervene in a nation’s affairs, a position that Emmanuel Macron, president of France, expressed this Tuesday in regards to the matter.

Juncker’s stance remains unchanged from the official statement issued after the Oct. 1st referendum, where the EU Commission called the Catalan independence movement “an internal affair for Spain”. Carles Puigdemont, in his address on Tuesday before Parliament, called for the EU “to get involved” in the affair.

The Catalan regional president faces a deadline of next Monday to clarify whether independence has been officially declared.

Calls for Unity and Prison on Spanish National Day

Oct. 12th, 2017

Protesters in the city's Plaça de Catalunya. Photocredit: Albert Han

Protesters in the city's Plaça de Catalunya. Photocredit: Albert Han

[Originally published in Barcelona Metropolitan on Oct. 12th, 2017]

Tens of thousands gathered today in the city centre to support the country’s unity on the National Day of Spain. An estimated 65,000 people, according to the City Hall of Barcelona, marched under the slogan “Catalonia yes, Spain too”. Chants of “Long Live Spain, Long Live Catalonia!” sounded throughout the rally, accompanied by “Puigdemont, go to prison!”, among other cries for unity.

Various groups organised the demonstration, including the Catalan Civil Society, which had arranged the previous demonstration last Sunday. In a statement before the Spanish parliament yesterday, prime minister Mariano Rajoy asked Puigdemont to clarify by next Monday “whether independence was declared or not” in the regional president’s speech before the Catalan Parliament on Tuesday.

In Madrid, King Felipe VI presided over the annual military parade, while members of the Spanish government and the presidents of autonomous communities also participated in the events. Puigdemont was absent, along with his counterparts from the Basque Country and Navarre.