The European Commission has come under intense pressure from MEPs to condemn the Spanish state’s violent repression in Catalonia on Sunday during an emergency debate at the European Parliament.

Amidst accusation that the Commission’s response so far has been woefully inadequate, GUE/NGL has urged the Commission to mediate between the governments in Madrid and Barcelona, and to use dialogue to resolve this crisis.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament has also faced accusations of downplaying the gravity of the situation by scheduling a truncated debate on Catalonia, with the format of one speaker per group being deemed as insufficient.

Speaking on behalf of GUE/NGL, group Vice-President Patrick Le Hyaric described the violence perpetrated by the Spanish military and police forces during Sunday’s referendum as a gross violation of EU citizens’ rights – action which must be condemned at once:

“We urge the European Commission to condemn – explicitly and without delay – the acts of violence and repression in Catalonia and the violation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.”

“We call for a de-escalation of tensions and to cease all use of repressive military and police forces.”

The French MEP then argued for dialogue and citizen participation as the only solutions to the crisis:

“Citizens will always be the first to bear the brunt of these confrontations – not politicians.”

“The EU should offer itself as a mediator in this crisis. Dialogue must resume – and we must help the two sides find a compromise.”

“The cooperation, solidarity and unity of free and sovereign individuals are the only ways towards peace. The final step must be a return to democracy,” added Le Hyaric.

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