The words of the former Spanish Minister of foreign affairs José Manuel García-Margallo are beginning to be heard abroad. The Latvian euro minister for the Popular Party PP Artis Pabriks, former Minister of Defence (2010-2014) and former Minister of Foreign Affairs (2004-2007) has denied the declarations according to which Spain owes favours to other countries for having taken up contrary positions (or unfavourable positions) with regard to the Catalan independentist process. Margallo said that as a minister, he had had four meetings in the Baltic countries on the positioning they had to have in relation to the Catalan independentist process. Pabkris retweeted the VilaWeb English news item on Margallo’s declarations, adding this comment: ‘Secret agreements if exist are short lived as rule since missing moral backbone should’.

There are well-known precedents of diplomatic tension between Spain and the Baltic countries concerning support to Catalonia’s independentist process. Former Latvian prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis (whose cabinet included Artis Pabriks) made declarations to the ACN agency in 2013, a few days after the success of the Via Catalana, saying that Latvia would recognise an independent Catalonia if the process were carried out legitimately. On the same days, also to the ACN, the Lithuanian Prime Minister, Algirdas Butkevicius, said that Catalonia had the right to self-determination.

As a result of these declarations, Margallo called the Latvian and Lithuanian ambassadors to consultation in Madrid to make the authorities of both countries rectify in their declarations. The diplomacy of both countries initially said that they had been misinterpreted, but the Latvian Prime Minister wanted to make it clear that he ‘had said what he had said’ about Catalonia. Dombrovskis, the current vice president of the European Commission, suffered for his words: a defamatory campaign through a supposed police report published in the Interviú magazine, according to which, Dombrovskis received money in exchange for defending the sovereigntist process. The Latvian fraud office recently withdrew the defamations.

See a fragment of Margallo’s declarations:

 

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Vicent Partal
Director de VilaWeb