Catalan independence declaration
Press release from EFA MEPs J-M Terricabras & Jordi Solé (ERC)
Commenting on today's declaration of Catalan independence, Josep-Maria Terricabras MEP, President of the European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament, said:
"Today marks an exciting new chapter in European history as Catalonia declares its independence. And following our permanent extended hand to dialogue and the character of the people of Catalonia, the introduction of the republic is suspended to facilitate a process of mediation and international dialogue.
"The democratic right of the people of Catalonia to peaceful self-determination must be recognised and respected.
"Now is the time for dialogue between all of the parties concerned. This is now a European issue, and the European Union can and should play its full part in resolving the political differences that exist, taking full account of the democratic rights of the Catalan people.
"We should also recognise the immense dignity of the people of Catalonia, who have exercised their democratic rights entirely peacefully, even in the face of the very worst police brutality and state repression."
Fellow Catalan MEP Jordi Solé (ERC) said:
"We have always been open to dialogue and a negotiated solution. But we temporarily put on hold the effects of independence, waiting for Spain to respond.
"I would appeal to the European Union to recognise, defend and protect the fundamental rights of Catalan citizens, who are of course also EU citizens. This is no longer an internal matter for Spain – it's now time for the European Union to recognise the new political reality and facilitate dialogue between all concerned."