The European Parliament is opening up debate on Spain’s brutal crackdown on the weekend referendum in Catalonia, but the European Commission has come out in outspoken favor of the violence by Spanish police, declaring it “necessary.”
Spanish police tried to stop millions of Catalans from voting on independence, and left over 800 people wounded, along with a slew of photographs and video footage of Spanish national police beating women and the elderly.
European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, however, condemned the Catalans for holding a referendum at all after Spain objected, dubbing it a “threat to the rule of law in all EU countries.”
Much of the EU fears the Catalonia referendum because many members have active secessionist movements of varying sizes, and don’t want to establish a precedent where people have a right to self-determination.
At the same time, most of the EU has been dancing around that position, and none have been as willing as Timmermans to not only express their fear of the secessionist movement, but to look at the plainly ugly reaction of Spanish police against civilians as the appropriate response.