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Catalan Referendum a test for European democratic principles – Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh

30 September, 2017 - by Trevor Ó Clochartaigh


The Catalan independence referendum, planned for this Sunday October 1st, is in fact a major test for democratic principles in Europe, according to Sinn Féin Senator, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Speaking from Barcelona, where he is taking part in a forty strong international delegation to oversee the referendum, which includes Sinn Féin MEP’s Lynn Boylan, Martina Anderson and Eoin Ó Broin TD, the Galway West – South Mayo Senator says:

“What strikes me is that this is a very peaceful, positive and imaginative campaign, implemented on foot of a huge community mobilisation which has created the political impetus to allow citizens the opportunity to decide their own future.

“We have had briefings with academics, politicians and civil society representatives from across the spectrum.  What is quite clear is that there is huge disquiet with the reaction of the Spanish government to Sunday’s vote. 

“People are very concerned that fundamental human rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of association and the right to self-determination are being abused. The Spanish authorities has taken over financial control of the Catalan budget, they have arrested politicians and public servants and closed down hundreds of civic society websites in an effort to stop the referendum on Sunday.

“The Spanish government maintains that the referendum is unconstitutional, however Catalan stakeholders tell us that they believe that the same court is politically motivated and that there are contradictions in the constitution when it comes to the autonomous rights of the Catalan government versus the sovereignty of Spain.

“One of the major criticisms we are hearing is that the EU has made no statement on what the Catalans see as infringements of their fundamental rights and they are calling on them for support in this regard.

“The cat and mouse game that is ongoing between the Spanish state and the Catalan government in relation to the provisions for Sundays vote will create a situation where the democratic process itself is called into question and the coming days will be historic in many ways for Catalonia, Spain and the whole of Europe no matter what the outcome”.

ENDS

Reifreann na Catalóine ina scrúdú do phrionsabail dhaonlathacha na hEorpa - Ó Clochartaigh

Is scrúdú ollmhór a bheidh ins an reifreann neamhspleáchais atá dhá eagrú sa Chatalóin ar an Domhnach beag seo, 1ú Deireadh Fómhair, ar bhunphrionsabail daonlathacha na hEorpa, dar le Seanadóir Shinn Féin, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Ag labhairt dó as Barcelona, áit a bhfuil sé mar chuid de thoscaireacht idirnáisiúnta do dhá scór duine chun faire  a dhéanamh ar an bpróiseas reifreann, ar a n-áirítear comhghleacaithe as Sinn Féin na Feisirí Eorpacha Martina Anderson agus Lynn Boylan chomh maith leis an Teachta Dála Eoin Ó Broin, deir Seanadóir Ghaillimh Thiar – Maigh Eo Theas:  

“Rud atá suntasach ná chomh síochánta, chomh samhlaíoch agus chomh dearfach is atá an feachtas seo, atá tagtha chun cinn de bharr brú mór pobail, atá tar éis cur ina luí ar an aicme pholaitiúil go gcaithfear deis vótála a thabhairt don chosmhuintir le lámh a bheith acu ina gcinniúint féin. 

“Tá muid i ndiaidh cruinnithe a bheith againn inniu le lucht acadúil, polaiteoirí agus ionadaithe pobail ó dhearcaidh éagsúla den díospóireacht. An rud atá follasach áfach, ná an míshuaimhneas mór atá ann maidir le h-iompar Rialtas na Spáinne i dtaca le vóta an Domhnaigh. 

“Tá an-imní ar dhaoine go bhfuiltear ag déanamh beag is fiú do chearta bunúsacha daonna ar nós saor chead cainte, saorchead teacht le chéile agus an cheart féin-chinntiúchán.  Tá smacht glactha ag údaráis na Spáinne ar bhuiséid na Catalóine, tá polaiteoirí agus státseirbhísigh tógtha ag póilíní agus tá na céadta suíomh idirlíon pobail dúnta síos agus Rialtas na Spáinne ag iarraidh stop a chuir le reifreann an Domhnaigh. 

“Tá an reifreann mí-bhunreachtúil dar le Rialtas na Spáinne, ach deir geallsealbhóirí Catalónacha a chas linn anseo go gcreideann siadsan go bhfuil claonadh pholaitiúil sa chúirt céanna agus go dtagann bunreacht na Spáinne salach ar féin ó thaobh cearta féin riail na Catalóine agus cearta flaithis na Spáinne. 

“Ceann de na clamhsáin is mó atá muid ag cloisteáil ná chomh ciúin is atá Aontas na hEorpa maidir lena bhfuil dhá rá ag muintir na Catalóine faoina gcuid cearta bunúsacha a bheith dhá shárú agus tá siad ag lorg tacaíocht uathu ina thaobh seo. 

“Tá stát na Spáinne ar nós cat ag faire ar luch le rialtas na Catalóine maidir leis na socruithe do vóta an Domhnaigh rud a cruthaíonn ceisteanna bunúsacha maidir leis an bpróiseas daonlathach,  ach níl amhras dá laghad gur laethanta stairiúla atá sa gcúpla lá amach romhainn don Chatalóin, don Spáinn agus don Eoraip trí chéile is cuma cén toradh a bheidh ann”.

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