Zowel de Spanjaarden als de Catalanen zijn verliezers na het referendum van 1 oktober 2017. Het geweld van de politie was absoluut verwerpelijk en onaanvaardbaar.

Nu moet er niet alleen een wettelijke oplossing, maar ook een politieke oplossing uit de bus komen en dat kan alleen maar met dialoog, op een rustige en verantwoordelijke manier.

Lees hier mijn tussenkomst in de Raad van Europa op 12 oktober 2017:

Dear president,
Ladies and gentlemen,

The Spanish and the Catalan citizens are both losing in the confrontation which is now culminating, following the referendum of last Sunday.
It hurts on both sides.
Because there cannot be a winner in a conflict like this.

Political leaders should have thought twice, and instead of nourishing the conflict, they should have opened the dialogue.
Therefore, I must say that Mrs Calau, the mayor of Barcelona, has taken her responsability by bringing different political parties together.

Ladies and gentlemen, I regret to say, but Mr Rajoy has not.
He has a huge responsability in what happened and may still be bound to happen.

Because of his stubbornness, nationalism is back with all its arrogance.
Consequently, political disagreement is back as well, and it will affect the stability of the Catalan region, of Spain and of Europe at large.

We have stranded in a situation where no comprimises seem to be possible.

In one week, we arrived in a cruel world where only enemies exist, and police used violence against citizens who wanted to exert their democratic right to vote. In a world where the president of Spain continues to use threatening words.

This is deplorable. Very deplorable, because everyone is losing, including the majority of Catalans who did not vote or voted no to the referendum.

A referendum, ladies and gentlemen, that indeed can clearly not be called democratic, since it has originated outside the law, and does not comply with the rules of the Venice Commission.

However, let us not forget that now Mr Puigdemont has spoken out loud that “the conflict can be resolved in a calm and agreed manner, if everyone acts responsably”.

There can be a positive way out, ladies and gentlemen, if dialogue leads to a political solution, and not only to a legal solution. Applying article 155 would be the worst thing Mr Rajoy could do.

A possible way out could be the amending of the Spanish constitution to allow a binding referendum, but it is not the only one.
If the Spanish and Catalan representatives of the people would really listen to the people, they would know we need a solution that goes beyond the law. The law of course is important, but democratic participation is even more important.

The international community can help to reach a political solution. If only the Spanish and the Catalans would accept that mediation.

Ladies and gentlemen, I hope that my own country Belgium will also help to find a solution, since we have a large experience in peaceful dialogue between different regions. It is not always perfect, but at least it is peaceful and avoids inappropriate use of force which will harm civilians.

Thank you