France: Govt «proportionate use of force» justified response to Catalan referendum — Timmermans

European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans stood behind the Spanish government with respect to the Catalan Independence referendum, saying that upholding the rule of law «sometimes does require the proportionate use of force,» speaking to EU lawmakers at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Wednesday. «We understand that people wanted to express their views,» Timmermans said, before... Еще he added that «one opinion is not more valuable than another opinion, only because it is expressed more loudly.» Amid the applause of the lawmakers, Timmermans concluded, «as the Commission has stated, Sunday's vote in Catalonia's was not legal,» suggesting «an agreed way forward» between the Spanish and Catalan governments. Timmermans comments come after Sunday's independence referendum sparked pro-Catalan protests in the Spanish capital and a general workers strike in solidarity with voters, supported by the Catalan sections of two of Spain's main workers unions, the Workers' Commission (CCOO) and the General Workers Union of Spain (UGT). Catalonia held a referendum on October 1 to decide on the region's independence, with the Spanish government deeming the action 'illegal' and 'unconstitutional.' At least 893 people and 33 police officers were reportedly injured during Sunday's independence referendum.

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