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EU must support democracy in Catalonia – Carthy

2 October, 2017 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has urged the Spanish Government and the European Union to respect the democratic voice of the Catalan people as expressed in yesterday’s referendum on independence.  He said that the initial response of the Irish Government, in refusing to recognise the weekend’s Independence referendum was ‘disappointing and embarrassing’.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Matt Carthy said:

“I salute the courage and integrity of the people of Catalonia who have faced down brutal state repression to exercise their right to vote. Catalans have resisted an ugly and unacceptable attack on the basic democratic process and asserted their right to independence.

“The international community, and the European Union in particular, must now support the people of Catalonia in forging their own independent political path in Europe.

“The EU must also hold the Spanish state accountable for the vicious repression and violence perpetrated in Catalonia in over the past 24 hours.

"If a Middle-Eastern or Latin American state acted in the manner that the Spanish authorities did, using armed police to prevent citizens from voting, EU leaders would rightly be lining up to condemn.

" That this occurred in an EU state means that the European response will weigh on the credibility of the institutions for many years to come.

“In many ways, this is a defining period for Catalonia, Spain, and Europe. It is also a defining moment for democratic values.

“It is therefore disappointing and embarrassing that the Irish Government’s initial response, as articulated by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, has been to dismiss the Independence referendum.  Considering our own history, Ireland should be leading the international charge for the right of the people of Catalonia to self-determination and demanding that the EU does likewise.” 

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