France: PACE lawmakers talk need for political solution in Catalonia

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) discussed the need for a political solution to the crisis in Catalonia, at a plenary session in Strasbourg, Thursday. Spanish representative from the European People's Party Group (EPP Group), Jose Ramon Garcia Hernandez, argued that the referendum should be suspended and that it was «illegal» as it «violated the election law.» She went... Еще on to say that that «there is no census, no official declaration, there were no proper electoral authorities and no country should recognise this, so we must recognise and defend the rule of law then you need to do this with a clear-cut voice and not defending the interests of others.» Spanish lawmaker from Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group (SOC Group), Soraya Rodriguez Ramos, urged Madrid to «encourage the independent activists in Catalonia to come to the table of dialogue» and to «sit down, including the independence activists, to see how we can better arrange our territorial organisation.» Pablo Bustinduy, Vice-Chairperson from the Unified European Left (UEL Group), noted the «unprecedented restrictions and measures against the exercise of fundamental rights and liberties» which were taken by Spanish authorities in response to the Catalan referendum, including «banning public meetings and debates,» «the arrest of civil servants and public officers» and «open calls from the ruling party to illegalise political organisations calling for independence.» Leader of the UK delegation from the European Conservatives Group, Roger Gale, stressed that «if it can be done in the United Kingdom and if it can be done in Scotland, then it can be done in Spain,» adding that the Catalans «have a right, as much right, to have their voice heard as have the people of Scotland in the United Kingdom.»

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