A growing number of voices in Belgium are questioning the actions by the Spanish government and judiciary. Specifically, criticisms have been voiced by Flemish party New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), the Mouvement Réformateur (MR) —the party of Belgium’s Prime Minister— and the Socialist Party. They have been joined by Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE) in the European parliament, and Belgium’s deputy PM Kris Peeters, a member of the Flemish Christian Democrats (CD&V).

Speaking about the actions by the Spanish institutions against Catalonia, today Belgium’s Interior Minister Jan Jambon asked “Where is Europe?”. In an interview with Flemish TV VTM, Jambon stated that the Spanish government “has gone too far” and asked Europe to break its silence and take a stand on the actions against the Catalan government by Spain’s justice.

The Belgian Interior Minister also indicated that, should a similar situation arise in Poland or Hungary, there would be “many more” reactions coming from Europe.

On his part, former Belgian PM Elio di Rupo slammed the Spanish authorities over their actions and referred to them as “an authoritarian, Francoist” government.

Ségolène Royal objects to the imprisonment of the Catalan government
Ségolène Royal has also criticised the Spanish executive branch. The Former French socialist minister, who currently serves as ambassador to the Arctic, criticised the fact that Vice President Junqueras and seven cabinet ministers are being kept in remand. “It is unacceptable”, she said. “We are witnessing political leaders kept in jail for their ideas in the heart of Europe”.

Royal remarked that the judicial action against Carles Puigdemont and his ministers exposes “a European malfunction”. She also urged the European institutions, the Commission and the parliament, to intervene in the conflict between Catalonia and Spain.

She said she was wary of Catalan independence because it “might trigger further demands in Europe”. Royal claimed that “a happy medium can be found”.

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Vicent Partal
Director de VilaWeb