Open Europe Blog

What happened to the EU as a peace project? 

To many of our readers, Alejo Vidal-Quadras (see picture) will not ring a bell, but he is one of the Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament, and a member of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Partido Popular. In the category ‘unhelpful comments’, Señor Vidal-Quadras has hit the jackpot.

Commenting on the tense situation in Catalonia – and the recent calls for a referendum on independence – he said,

Things must be said clearly. The [pledge to call a] referendum is illegal. An institution of the Spanish government, the Catalan parliament, has made a decision against the existing system.

Further to taking this decision to court, the government has to get in touch with [Catalan President Artur] Mas and tell him, ‘What you’ve done breaches the law. Rectify it, or else we will have to intervene’. If [Mas] refuses to do so, the [Spanish] Senate seats, votes, the [Catalan] parliament is dissolved, the Catalan government goes home and a delegation of the [central] government takes over power in Catalonia.

A Brigade General [of the Spanish Guardia Civil]…takes over from the Mossos d’Esquadra [Catalonia’s regional police corps]. And that’s it. If people take to the street, so be it, but they can’t go on demonstrating for more than a month. Demonstrations don’t feed the people. If [the Catalans] persist with this rebel attitude, the government has to intervene in the rebel region.

Vidal-Quadras is Catalan himself, by the way…

Now, this is a very tricky debate involving a huge number of aspects. But, unsurprisingly, Vidal-Quadras was shut down by his own party. In a TV interview this morning, Alicia Sánchez-Camacho (the leader of the Catalan branch of Partido Popular) said Vidal-Quadras was speaking in his personal capacity, as he does not hold any ‘significant’ position within the party – which goes to show how important many national politicians consider the European Parliament to be… 

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