The lies of Catalan separatism are a threat to Europe
One year after Catalonia’s illegal independence referendum, the violent demonstrations in Barcelona on Monday made it painfully obvious that the situation has worsened, not improved. Carles Puigdemont may be out of the picture, but the separatists’ new leader, Quim Torra, is pursuing the same misguided agenda as his predecessor.
It’s no surprise Catalonia was in utter chaos on Monday.
In his speech commemorating the October 1 vote, Torra urged the violent pro-independence group Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDRs) “to continue pressing” for an independent Catalan republic, for which there is no democratic support.
The separatist movement took the central government’s delegation in Girona by force, attacked police headquarters in Barcelona, blocked highways and trains, and even tried to break into the Catalan parliament. My colleagues — from opposition Ciudadanos and other parties — had to be escorted out of the building among insults and threats.
It is utterly irresponsible for the president of a regional government in charge of an 18,000-strong armed police force to encourage radical groups to take action against its own police and other citizens. The president is responsible for the security of all Catalans, not only of a minority of nationalists.
Europeans should make no mistake: The political project of radical Catalan nationalists is no different from other regressive nationalisms and populisms threatening the European project today.