EU Commission reiterates Catalan poll was 'not legal'

Catalan leader replies Europe 'cannot look the other way any longer' after Sunday's independence referendum

EU Commission reiterates Catalan poll was 'not legal'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Sunday’s independence referendum in Catalonia, marked by police violence and civil disobedience, was not legal, said an official statement from the European Commission on Monday.

Despite the chaos, 2.26 million ballots were counted Sunday and of those, 90 percent were cast in favor of an independent Catalan Republic, according to the Catalan government.  The total population of Catalonia is around 7.5 million.

After the vote, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont appealed to the international community for recognition.

“The citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state,” he said in a televised address on Sunday night, insinuating a unilateral declaration of independence could be soon to come.

Yet, despite his appeals and the images of police violence, the European Commission appears to have taken the Spanish government’s side.

While the Commission said “violence can never be an instrument in politics”, it added that it fully trusts the leadership of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy “to manage this difficult situation”.

“The EU Commission must encourage international mediation. It cannot look the other way any longer,” said Puigdemont in a news conference Monday in response to the commission’s statement. He also demanded the withdrawal of Spanish police forces deployed in Catalonia.

During the vote, in which anti-riot police stormed several voting centers to stop the independence referendum, more than 800 were injured and hundreds of voting centers were forcibly closed, according to the Catalan government.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Ekim 2017, 16:36