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Denmark and the Catalan-Spanish political conflict

On May 13 2015 Sjúrður Skaale MP, on behalf of the Enhedslisten Party (The Red and Green Alliance, 12 seats in the 179-seat Folketinget), addressed the following question to the Danish Foreign Affairs Minister, Martin Lidegaard: 

  • ‘How will the Danish government support a nation’s right to self-determination, in light of the fact that Catalan society, the Catalan government, as well as an ample majority in the Catalan parliament, want a referendum on independence?’

On May 19 2015 the resulting Resolution was adopted by 64 Ayes, no Noes and 41 abstentions. The text was as follows:

  • ‘The Danish Parliament has paid close attention to the explanation made by the government about the legal, historical, political and international issues connected to the situation in Catalonia and has the opinion that the question of Catalan independence is a case of peaceful and democratic dialogue between Catalonia and the Spanish governments in Madrid.’

This respectful position clearly caused a great flurry in the corridors of the Spanish Foreign Ministry: a spate of similar resolutions in parliaments across Europe would in effect be a striking condemnation of Madrid's refusal to negotiate even the terms and conditions of a referendum (and its insistence on taking every political issue - acts, decrees, the organmisation of a non-binding official poll - to the courts, and threatening the Catalan president with disqualification or even prison).

The first visible effect of Spain's counterattack on this particular issue was the Danish foreign minister's declaration under very evident - even humiliating - pressure from Spain's foreign minister José-Manuel García-Margallo. 

(click image to see video, 1' 24")

Minister Martin Liedegaard: 0'26" - 0'53" (and 0'59" - 1'01")
Minister José-Manuel García Margallo: 0'54" - 1'24"
It is clear, by the way, that the Spanish minister misinterprets (in ugly terms) what the Danish minister says was misinterpreted.

The idea of the motion came from the Danish delegation of the Catalan pro-independence NGO Assemblea Nacional Catalana.


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