On Sunday, Prime Minister Charles Michel condemned the violence surrounding the Catalan Independence referendum. He is the first head of government within the EU to do so.
“Violence can never be the right response! We condemn all types of violence and call once again for political dialogue”, Mr Michel wrote on Twitter about the Catalan referendum. The EU representative for Catalonia, Amadeu Altafaj, thanked the Prime Minister for the Tweet.
The N-VA Deputy Prime Minister Jan Jambon also condemned the violence via social media, saying it was “unacceptable in a democratic process”. The N-VA President Bart De Wever did the same: “There is no excuse for European politicians resorting to violence. Those that continue to ignore an appeal for international mediation are not upholding the values of democracy”.
The PS President Elio du Rupo said “whatever your opinion on the Catalan referendum, there can be no justification for seeing this kind of violence in the very heart of the EU”.
His CD&V counterpart Wouter Beke also condemned the violence and called for dialogue, along with the Open Vld President Gwendolyn Rutten. The Green Party President Meyrem Almaci said “everyone loses” when violence is employed in this way. Patrick Dupriez, the co-president of Ecolo, quipped that what history would remember about the head of the Spanish government Mariano Rajoy’s “major contribution” to Catalan independence was ironic.