Vicent Partal


The European Union is playing with fire

The Spanish campaign to make it look like Catalonia would be expelled from the European Union is intentional political propaganda. In the open conflict between Spain and Catalonia, the Spanish government believes that threatening Catalan citizens with leaving us out of Europe would affect the way we'd vote in a referendum and could be an instrumental factor in blocking Catalonia's independence.

It's pretty significant to point out that this offensive is being carried out almost exclusively by Spanish political operatives in Brussels. The latest and rather pathetic example came yesterday with the foolish, falsehood-laden declarations of the European Parliament spokesperson, Jaume Duch. Spokesperson, by the way, who has a political past that amply explains his current positioning.

The European leaders from other countries besides Spain have kept quiet for now. Or they have released careful, discreet statements that, if desired, can be read between the lines as an indication that the apocalypse as described by the Spanish has little credibility. Meanwhile however, alongside this discreet silence, Spain is applying full pressure and even threatening its European partners who have begun to speak openly about how the recognition of an independent Catalonia by the European Union would occur.

But this silence and discretion could do irreparable harm to Europe. I don't think the Union is seeing, or is aware, that its silence is encouraging Catalans to consider not belonging to the European Union at all. The latest published polls show for the first time that a majority of Catalans believe that staying outside the Union is not a problem. And the question to the other Europeans is if they're aware what they're getting into by letting the Spanish hijack and blatantly manipulate Europe's position.

Mail Obert