Pittella on Catalonia: An illegal and invalid referendum but a sad day for Spain and Europe
Speaking on the on-going situation in Catalonia, S&D Group President Gianni Pittella said:
“This is a sad day for Spain and for the whole of Europe. There is no doubt that the non-referendum organised and supported by the Catalan authorities is to be considered illegal and invalid. However, the feelings of so many Catalans that took to the streets must also be heard.
“The solution can only be a political response, not a police one. However for months Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy has done nothing. The escalation of the tension should have been diffused a long time ago, in order to avoid clashes between the police and civilians. The awful images of violence broadcasted from Barcelona worldwide should never have happened. It is disgraceful that the conservative government in Spain did not open a dialogue before and disregarded the voice of so many citizens in Catalonia. On the other hand, the Catalan Authorities led citizens along an illegal path despite the many judgements issued by not only the Spanish Constitutional Court but also Catalan Tribunals.
“The Socialists in Catalonia and the rest of Spain have been calling for many months and years for the opening of both the legal and political channels for dialogue. Spanish socialists have succeeded in establishing a Parliamentary Committee for the study and modernisation of the Spanish territorial model. As from tomorrow, the national government, the Catalan authorities and all citizens should work seriously on a social pact where all feel included.”