Belgian Minister of Interior: ‘Madrid has gone too far, where is Europe?’

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

Belgian Minister of Home Affairs, Jan Jambon, of the Flemmish nationalist party New Flemmish Alliance (N-VA), criticized the actions of Spanish state institutions against the Government of the Generalitat and questioned the European Union: ‘Madrid has gone too far, but where is Europe?’ in a VTM television interview.

Jambon asked the why Vice President of the government, Oriol Junqueras, and seven other council members are in prison and there is a European arrest warrant against President Puigdemont and the four councilors who are also in Brussels. ‘Peaceful people are attacked, government members are in jail. What did they do wrong? They received this mandate from their voters, and acted on it […] I wonder where Europe is in this story? The minister asked. This happened in a European member state ‘. Jambon has asked Europe to stop being silent and to take a stand on the situation in Catalonia.

The Belgian minister went further and asserted that, should a similar situation have occurred in Poland or Hungary, there would be no shortage of European reactions.

Avoiding public statements
During the interview, Jambon stated that the Belgian government has agreed not to make any public statements about the fact that President Puigdemont was in Brussels, since it is a court case in Belgium, and therefore a judicial issue, not a political one.

The declarations of Jambon take place after Belgian vice-prime, Kris Peeters, said that the international community should ensure that Puigdemont’s case follows the ‘correct process’. “There is Spanish law, but there is also international law, the European Convention on Human Rights and all these things, and these prevails over the law of a member state.”

Government ‘authoritarian Francoist’
Belgian ex-prime minister, Elio di Rupo, who in power from 2011 to 2014, has come out strongly against the Spanish government, saying it has behaved like a “Francoist authoritarian” executive.

Despite not agreeing with Puigdemont or with the Catalan independentist aspirations, the Belgian ex-prime minister, a member of the Socialist Party, called for ‘dignity’ and democratic behavior:

Concerning the possibility that the Belgian judge should take a statement from President Puigdemont and the four counselors with regards to the Spanish request for arrest and precautionary custody, Rupo said that he would have been very surprised if a judge would deprive the visiting members of the government of their freedom, in the capital of the European Community.

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