Belgium: Timmermans stresses he did not call Spanish response to referendum ‘proportionate’

Speaking from Brussels, on Monday, European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans rebutted comments made by European Conservatives and Reformists Group Helga Stevens, who claimed Timmermans called the Spanish authorities' response, in the fall-out of the Catalan referendum, as «proportionate». Timmermans explained, «I did not say this in my intervention in Parliament. I said that, under... Еще certain circumstances, the upholding of the rule of law can also be done with proportionate force. But I did not pass judgement on what the Spanish government did.» He went on to maintain, «Violence is never an answer in that aspect. And I keep repeating that. Violence will never bring a solution to that.» He also criticised attempts to bring up the question of the Catalan independence referendum during a meeting on the issue of Poland's rule of law. «Please let not 'whataboutism' be — sort of — a distraction from the issue we talk about as well. Which is the rule of law in Poland today,» he pleaded. Timmermans then went on to point out, «Frankly, it doesn't make your arguments much stronger if you need to drag in other issues to deflect the attention from the concrete issues that I've raised here today.»

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