Spanish government does not accept Belgian advice in the Catalonia crisis
Thursday, 19 October 2017
Prime Minister Charles Michel’s remarks on the constitutional crisis in Catalonia have resulted in a sharp Spanish reaction. According to a diplomatic exchange by e-mail disclosed on Thursday (19 October) in the newspapers Het Laatste Nieuws and De Morgen, the Rajoy government describes his remarks as unacceptable and threatens to withdraw its support for the candidacy of Catherine De Bolle as president of Europol.
The Belgian ambassador to Spain has been summoned following the interview given to the press by the Belgian Prime Minister last weekend. In an e-mail, Rajoy’s chief of staff explains clearly to the Belgian ambassador that the Spanish government is “stupefied” by the “attacks of the Belgian -government” and that this will not be without consequences.
“This can seriously jeopardize our bilateral relations,” the Spanish government’s letter said.
A certain discomfort was felt in Madrid when Charles Michel condemned the Spanish police violence during the referendum in Catalonia, according to an e-mail sent by the Belgian embassy to the Belgian government on 3 October.
The Spanish reaction might also include reprisals. The Belgian embassy in Spain relays comments of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior indicating that the candidature of Catherine De Bolle to the presidency of Europol “cannot be supported after the reactions of Belgium to the events in Catalonia “.