Belgium’s New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) party has called for dialogue on independence for Catalonia, the party said in a press release following Sunday’s referendum in the Spanish region. “Catalans expressed themselves clearly despite the intimidation,” the president of the Flemish nationalists, Bart De Wever, said. “For the N-VA it’s clear that a dialogue has to be launched with a view to following up the will expressed by the Catalan people.”
Results from the referendum show that 90% of voters chose independence. The N-VA said it condemned the violence perpetrated on Sunday against citizens who wished to cast their ballots at the polls. “It was a sad day for Europe. Catalans have a right to express themselves and that right was violated by State violence. That’s inacceptable,” it said.
The N-VA plans to table resolutions in the Chamber and in the Flemish Parliament calling for dialogue between Madrid and Barcelona under the aegis of international mediators. It will also request the inclusion of the issue on the agenda of the European Parliament.
“The Spanish State has lost its sense of measure,” the N-VA said. “That did not happen like a thunderbolt in a blue sky. The situation degenerated after the negotiated status of autonomy for Catalonia was cancelled and all dialogue with Catalans was refused”.
Belgium’s largest party asked the European Union to become more involved. “When a member State fires on its own citizens and prevents them from exercising a basic democratic right, you cannot look away,” it said.