Why the Spanish government should be ignored
The head of the Spanish PP Delegation in the European Parliament, Esteban González Pons MEP, today criticized XXX, saying that his presence tomorrow in the European Union for an event in support of YYY, which is of simply "private" nature and without any kind of institutional support. He is going there, he explained at a breakfast with reporters, but he might as well have gone to "a cafeteria".
In synthesis that is the translation of the beginning of this article in a Madrid newspaper. The "private" meeting is a public event organised by three MEPs in the European Parliament, similar to dozens of informative events held in the same buildings every month. Why then has he apparently let loose all of his armoury of arrogance and disdain? Who is XXX, and what is YYY?
But before answering let us feed in more information about his opinions (which I abhore, as being totally contrary to acceptable democratic practice), that I just heard on the radio. He said XXX wanted to leave the European Union, and he said that XXX enjoyed the support of right wing extremists parties across Europe. He said that noone in any position of power will attend the event.
So, is XXX a representative of a foreign power threatening the very foundations of western civilisation?
So, is YYY an act of war, an invasion, an assassination?
Who is González Pons? Well according to his party's website he is the "Parliamentary Spokesman of Europe".
And what does his party think about Catalonia? Well, in 2006 they gathered millions of signatures in an attempt to prevent Spani from updating and improving Catalonia's regional constitution.
The same party sent the resulting Organic Law, after its ratification by the Catalan Peoiple in a referendum, to the Constitutiuonal Court later in 2006.
Unsurprisingly, the PP is widely seen in Catalonia as an anti-Catalan party. This is not an impression. See how well it did in the last General election, in Catalonia (light blue):
The Spanish Popular Party is deeply, profoundly, opposed to the Catalans deciding anything. It is even opposed to informal polls to ask the Catalans their non-binding opinion and after intoxicating Spanish opinion (and the judiciary!) into believing the 9 Novejmber 2014 poll was an "illegal" "referendum", it has put the machinery under way to get the courts to bar four top Catalan politicians from holding public office.
So, what about XXX and YYY?
Well actually, XXX is not a representative of a foreign power threatening the very foundations of western civilisation. He happens to be the democratically-elected, 130th president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, ( @KRLS ). Who has no desire at all to leave the European Union, which disqualifies Pons' claim to alliances with the extreme right wing (which Catalans have no time for: Catalonia is still smarting from the bombing and straffing of civilian targets by Italian and German war planes - on Franco's side - during the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War).
And YYY is not an act of war, an invasion or an assassination. It is the road map to Catalonia's independence which is shared by an outright majority in the democratically-elected Parliament of Catalonia, and includes the right of the Catalan power to vote on independence.
That majority has been built on the largest peaceful social movement in western Europe perhaps since WW2. The Catalan National Assembly, an NGO founded in 2012, has organised historic rallies every year since 2012, calling for the recovery of Catalonia's long-lost independence. Here is the 400 km-long "Catalan Way" formed on September 11 2013:
The Spanish Popular Party, and indeed its diplomatic service, are widely reported to be bullying people not to attend the information event. Even the new President of the European Parliament is reported to have hurriedly called a meeting of ambassadors at the same time. If that is so, is the fact he belongs to the same parliamentary group have anything to do with the coincidence?
Nor is it surprisingly that in the face of these calls for a boycott, the Catalan government has decided to publish an announcement in some foreign newspapers.
I sincerely hope that MEPs and Commission officials will ostentatiously show the world (and their electorate!) that they will not allow a foreign government - any government, for that matter - to tell them where they are and are not to go. The issue is not about independence, it is basically about democratic values. This is his latest letter to his Group colleagues (is is not the first: the earlier one, in 2014, was in the same vein):