In a recent statement the Celtic League General Secretary, Rhisiart Talebot, called the actions by the Spanish government aimed at disrupting the Catalan referendum on 1st October as ‘outrageous’. In the statement issued by the General Council of the Celtic League he said:
“The Celtic League has appointed its own international observer, Iain McDermott, to monitor political developments in the run-up to the referendum. Iain is currently in Catalunya and will stay in the country until after the referendum to ensure the right of the Catalan people to a free and democratic voting process is respected and upheld.”
The link to the full Celtic League statement is here: https://celticleague.net/bre-lang/…/outrageous-behaviour-by-spa…/
As we move ever closer to the day of the referendum the Spanish state is stepping up its level of intimidation against Catalonia. This morning (20/09/17) raids on Catalan government offices saw Spanish police arrest Catalonia’s junior economy minister Josep Maria Jove. Local reports say that Spanish police entered offices of the Catalan region’s economy, interior, foreign affairs, welfare, telecommunications and tax departments with 14 high-ranking local officials being arrested. Hundreds of protesters blocked Barcelona’s Gran Via, near Jospe Maria Jové’s office, chanting: “Independence!” and “We will vote”. One Catalan MP posted a tweet: “Estem patint un Cop d’Estat. Detencions i escorcolls il.legals. Volen robar-nos la democràcia!! No ho aconseguiran!! 1 oct votarem ” (“This is a coup d’état. Illegal detentions and searches. They want to steal our democracy. They won’t be able to. We vote Oct 1″.)
Yesterday the Spanish Guardia Civil confiscated referendum papers at a private delivery company in the Catalan city of Terrassa. More than 1.5m referendum leaflets and posters have also been seized. Meanwhile the first of hundreds of Catalan mayors were also forced to appear before the state prosecutor on Tuesday after they said they would back the referendum. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has been clear in denouncing what he described as “coordinated aggression” and the “totalitarian attitude” on the part of the Spanish state. After a Catalan cabinet crisis meeting he said Madrid was not respecting the principles of democracy and had “crossed a red line” into behaviour characteristic of dictatorial states. He went on to insist that the referendum would go ahead despite the abuses of what he described as an “repressive and intimidatory regime”, and insisted Catalunya would defend democracy in a peaceful manner.
The actions of the Spanish government is extremely alarming and are a concerted attack on internationally accepted guidance on the very principle of democracy and self determination. The statement by the General Secretary of the Celtic League wished the Catalan people every success in their referendum and urges them to remain strong and determined in the face of political and legal intimidation. The present actions of the Spanish government towards the people of Catalonia is totally unacceptable. All peoples have the right to self-determination and to choose the form of government best suited to their needs, a principle which is enshrined in the UN Charter.
Issued by Alastair Kneale, Director of Information for the Celtic League